Don’t Call Me a Saint

St. Dorothy Day?

If you don’t keep up with the blog at Waging Nonviolence, get over there now – they offer probably the best coverage of ongoing nonviolent resistance in the U.S. and across the world, with regular contributions from Nathan Schneider, George Lakey, and Frida Berrigan… and now yours truly! I had a column on Dorothy Day and Brian Terrell (about whom I wrote yesterday) published there this afternoon, “Don’t Call Me a Saint“:

There has long been a movement to canonize Dorothy Day. But it is only recently that her cause has been embraced by some of America’s most prominent conservative bishops, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Dolan is best known for his criticism of the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate and for his outspoken opposition to gay marriage — hardly what one would expect in a standard-bearer for Dorothy Day…

Day’s own response to calls for her canonization is instructive: “Don’t trivialize me by trying to make me a saint.”

When we turn people into saints, we transform them into mythical figures, superheroes of sorts, almost fictional characters. We forget (or choose to ignore) that we are capable of the same great things. Or worse, we use their sainthood as an excuse not to try. Gandhi fought his entire life against the honorific “Mahatma” for this very reason. He didn’t want to be mistaken for anything other than what he was: just another person, doing his best to embody peace in the world.

You can read the rest at Waging Nonviolence.

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About sdpeacejustice

The SD Peace & Justice Center connects a grassroots network of South Dakotans working for social justice and against violence and oppression.
This entry was posted in Anti-Militarism, Essays, Faith & Spirituality, Nonviolence, Peacemakers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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