Lee Griffith is a teacher, author, and longtime social activist currently working with a nonprofit community mental health program in Elmira, New York. Griffith begins this collection of thought-provoking writings with a sermon about justice and ends with an essay on arguing with God. In between, he shares his stance as an anarchist who believes in nonviolence and all the discipline, patience, and commitment which must go into pro-peace demonstrations. As he notes, we live in a country where violence against evil-doers is redemptive; patriotism is defined as doing what's best to make America Number One in the world; and militarism remains a dominant force in the United States.
Griffith, a Christian, also levels some harsh criticism against his country's mass incarceration in jails and prisons of over 2.2 million people. This adds up to another startling statistic: the United States has 25% percent of the world's prisoners! Half of all these individuals are African-Americans and another 20% are Hispanic. Griffith, who calls himself a prison abolitionist, states that over 60% of corporations have been found guilty of criminal violations. Yet it is a rare thing to see any corporate CEOs heading off to prison for the rest of their lives. Christians ought to be leading the way against the injustices of the prison system; after all, Jesus himself was a prisoner who was treated shamefully.
Griffith concludes that "the way of Jesus would be to shut down the Pentagon and throw open the prison gates." Thank God for peacemakers like this author who are willing to worship a subversive God and walk their talk of peace during a time of empire!