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Fr. Louie Vitale: 'Transforming Us vs. Them Thinking'

Sunday, June 28, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Mike Caggiano
Location Details:
Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo
300 E. Santa Inez
San Mateo, CA 94401

How do we relate with individuals and countries that believe differently than we do? How do we deal with our so-called enemies? Is torture morally acceptable? How do we respond to terrorism?

Father Louie Vitale, a 76-year-old Franciscan priest, has been grappling with these and other related questions for nearly half a century, since he began his journey as a young man with a conversion to nonviolence after leaving the U.S. Air Force.

Since his release from jail last year, "Father Louie" has given more than 50 talks across the United States and in Canada. On June 28, his 2009 "Circle of Peace Speaking Tour" will stop in San Mateo.

The Oakland-based Fr. Vitale is a veteran of civil disobedience. His police blotter spans nearly 40 years and well over 200 arrests. He served 3- and 6-month sentences for crossing the line at the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA, where the U.S. trains Latin American soldiers in torture techniques. He also served 5 months for crossing another line at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where our country's military trains intelligence officers in "enhanced interrogation" tactics such as waterboarding. The Nevada nuclear Test Site, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and more recently Nevada's Creech AFB (where remote-control "pilots" operate unmanned drone aircraft conducting airstrikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan) have all been targets of Fr. Vitale's efforts.

Fr. Vitale's topic will be "Love Your Enemies: Transforming Us vs. Them Thinking." He will focus on the importance of dialoguing with our enemies instead of warring against them.

He recently returned from Iran as part of a Civilian Diplomacy Delegation to dialogue with its government and people. He will discuss his experience there, along with developments around the forging of new relationships with that country. He will elaborate on possible next steps, including building people-to-people ties with Iranians, as well as advocating for our government to talk with their government.
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 9:44PM
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Fri, Jun 19, 2009 5:39PM
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