Letters to the Editor

War, justice and moral authority

Aug 21 2022, 7:07 AM

Ethan Hawke recently said that he has written Pope Francis a letter asking him to emulate his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, who marched into the fifth Crusades to meet the sultan in a bid to stop the war. Hawke wants Pope Francis to march to Ukraine to stop Russia’s war against that country.

When Hawke asked where today’s versions of past leaders like MLK, Jr. were, I immediately thought of the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, founder of the Moral Mondays actions in Raleigh, North Carolina, and co-founder of the Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Campaign. I have long been a dedicated follower of him and his campaigns for livable wages, affordable health care, fair elections, full access to the polls, and justice for those whose voices are not heard in this land.

He does all this while in considerable back pain, needing a cane to even walk. His commitment to the millions of people in this country who live in unjust circumstances never wavers, never falters. He really “walks the talk.”

If anyone can make an important difference, it is those two — the Pope and Barber together.

Maybe Hawke’s idea could turn into an ongoing collaboration of peace and justice, with pilgrimages of moral authority for millions. Some could join the march to Kyiv, others could in solidarity in their own states and countries.

If enough people share this idea widely maybe a groundswell will make it happen. Soon, please.

Genie Rayner

Bennington