Good Friday 2011

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April 22, 2011, Good Friday – Earth Day,
Lockheed Martin, Valley Forge, PA 

Stations of Justice, Peace, & the Environment


Luke 23:33-49

All: Let us pray that we will break the chains of violence and war; that we may resist war-making and stop Lockheed Martin with acts of justice and Jesus’ love. May the cross, which over time was transformed from a means of violence to a symbol of liberation and peace, be our symbol of nonviolence and justice, a sign of nonviolent resistance to greed, militarism, empire, violation of the earth, and war.
Leader: By the cross and resurrection…All: We Stand Against War!
Leader: By Jesus’ witness to truth…All: We Act for Justice and Peace!
Leader: By Jesus’ passion and death…All: We Resist Lockheed Martin! 
Leader: By Jesus’ victory over the grave…All: We Declare Peace!

1st Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death – Reading and Litany

Except where noted, after each station, reading, and litany, a cross  will be driven into the ground, remembering all the casualties of war and Lockheed Martin,

2nd Station: Jesus Carries His Cross    (Reading and Litany)
3rd Station: Jesus falls the 1st time    (Reading and Litany)
4th Station: Jesus meets his most afflicted mother    (Reading and Litany)
5th Station: Simon of Cyrene  is forced to help Jesus carry the Cross
(Reading and Litany)
6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus    (Reading and Litany)
7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time    (Reading and Litany)
8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem    (Reading and Litany)
9th Station: Jesus falls the 3rd time    (Reading and Litany)
10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments    (Reading and Litany)
11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross    (Reading and Litany)

12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross 
Period of silence/bell-tolling /Adaggio for Strings; Civil Disobedience (all – except those prepared to face arrest – should remain on sidewalk) and bell-tolling.


13th and 14th Stations: Jesus is taken down from the Cross and laid in the tomb

All: We mourn all the victims of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Gaza  and around the world. We know that the profits of Lockheed Martin rest on war, militarism, and the violation of the earth.  We have far too long suffered the policies of war and the social ravages of empire, corporate greed, and a war-torn economy.  We insist that where war is business, as here at Lockheed Martin, there cannot be business as usual. We resist Lockheed Martin with acts of Jesus’ love and a continuing commitment to justice, to honoring the earth, to peace, to the cross of nonviolent resistance.
Leader: By the cross and resurrection…All: We Stand Against  War
Leader: By Jesus’ witness to truth…All: We carry the cross of nonviolent resistance
Leader: By Jesus’ passion and death…All: We Resist Lockheed Martin 
Leader: By Jesus’ victory over the grave…All: We Act for Justice and for Peace

Thank you and have a joyous Passover and Easter!

.  Fri., May 6 7 PM – INSIDE JOB,
2011 Academy Award Winner ‘Best Documentary 
@Peace Center of Delaware County First-Friday Large Screen Free Film Series
1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield, Delaware County
off the corner of Old Marple and S. Sproul Roads, behind the Mr. Car Wash.

Co-sponsored by the Brandywine Peace Community. Doors open for light refreshments at 6:30p.m.  For directions or more information, visit

Brandywine Peace Community Monthly Potluck Supper & Program
2nd Sunday of the month (except August) 4:30p.m.
University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut Street, Phila., PA
May 8 – Special Mother’s Day for Peace Program

Bring main dish, salad, or dessert to share.

Summer ‘2011, including August 6 – 9/Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki.  Plan to parade, to protest, plan to resist Lockheed Martin.
If you are not already on the Brandywine Peace Community mailing and email list, call the office or e-mail us.  Stay in the circle of peace.
Brandywine Peace Community, P.O. Box 81, Swarthmore, PA 19081 
1st Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death     Reading #1

In another time of empire and military occupation, stood Jesus

Betrayed, denied, tortured, facing death, Jesus knew where he stood and what he faced. He faced the Cross, a means of execution, a symbol of imperial rule, of Rome’s might, an announcement of the empire’s will to maintain itself the only way it can: violence and war.

What we see depends on where we stand.

In our time of war and economic dislocation, policies of militarism and military occupation, and endless war, we stand before Lockheed Martin and see the cross of empire and human neglect, of greed and environmental destruction.

We see, mourn, and resist the cross of war that is Lockheed Martin.

Today we stand before Lockheed Martin pitting our commitment to nonviolent resistance, justice, and peace against Lockheed Martin, the face of war profits here and around the world, the face of nuclear weapons, the face of war-making today.


2nd Station: Jesus Carries his Cross     Reading #2

Formed in the April  1995 merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta and becoming at the very moment of its incorporation the world’s largest weapons corporation, Lockheed Martin announced itself with the slogan “And This is Just the Beginning!” atop row upon row of pictured weapons systems.

Lockheed Martin is the common denominator in the production of every major weapon system–nuclear and non-nuclear–in the U.S. arsenal and sold by the U.S. around the world. Lockheed Martin received from the public treasury more than $42.7 billion this year. The empire of U.S. war-making has its cross

Lockheed Martin–across the country and around the world, here in Valley Forge and throughout the Delaware Valley–means weaponry: nuclear weapons, Trident missiles, cruise missiles, F-35 Joint Strike Stealth fighters, combat satellites and computers, ,Aegis warships and ballistic missile defense, the Airborne Laser System and a host of other “Star Wars” missile defense weapons for the continued  militarization of space.

Among the numerous Pentagon weapons contracts here in Valley Forge, PA, Lockheed Martin builds Weapons Control Systems for U.S. Navy Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and battlefield computer systems as well as “field support” equipment for Minuteman III missiles Mark 12A nuclear warheads.

Unmanned aerial drone bombings in Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed untold thousands of civilians. The remote-controlled drones have become central to the escalating policy of war in Afghanistan, and have introduced a whole new approach to remote controlled bombing.  Lockheed Martin produces drones that are now being used in near daily airstrikes, as well as the military satellites that direct and control the drone bombings from the Continental United States at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada outside of Las Vegas. Eighty-five Drones are now being promised to Pakistan, for its own use, and President Barack Obama has just approved the use of armed drones in Libya, authorizing U.S. airstrikes on ground forces for the first time since America ostensibly turned over control of the operation to the U.S. alliance, NATO, on April 4.

Every weapon produced by Lockheed Martin means billions of dollars transferred from the public treasury to private wealth, from public need to corporate greed. Every weapon produced by Lockheed Martin means another bombing run, another missile attack, another war.

At its height, the Roman Empire maintained 37 overseas military bases.  The British Empire had 36.   The U.S. maintains more than 730 overseas military bases.

Jesus carried a cross of wood. At a cost of nearly one trillion dollars per year, we too carry a cross. We carry the weight of militarism and empire–the weapons it builds, the wars it wages, the earth it poisons, the lives it destroys, the societies and economies it cripples. Certainly, no less our’s.

We all carry the weight of Lockheed Martin.


3rd Station – Jesus Falls the First Time     Reading #3

 “The revulsion against war not too long hence will be an insuperable obstacle for us to overcome and for that reason I am convinced that we must set in motion the machinery of a permanent war economy…It must be an ongoing program and not the creature of some emergency.”

So spoke the president of General Electric, Charles E. Wilson, in July 1944, one year before the first atomic bomb was tested in the desert area of Alamogordo, New Mexico named Jornada del Muerto or  Dead Man’s Trail.

Today, we stand in the social order which Wilson called for – a culture of weaponry and militarism, a permanent industry of war, embedded so deep in our society that it is quite immune to political change and democratic oversight – and extends itself into virtually every society on earth.

That is empire which could be likened to the Orwellian notion of unending war – hot, cold, lukewarm – in which we become so accustomed to it that we don’t even realize it is happening any longer.  Weapons are built, some are cut back in order to fund other weapons,  just as troops are withdrawn from here only to be deployed there, but the doings, the policy, the industry and economy of war just goes on and on, and on.

We have a long way, and a lot deeper to go, before we can really speak of peace.
4th Station: Jesus meets his most afflicted mother    4th Reading

Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do?  Will we ever?

Weeks after the start of the U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan in October 2001, the Pentagon announced that Lockheed Martin would receive the contract to build the Joint Strike Stealth Fighter, the F-35, extending well over the next several decades, the largest military contract in human history.

At a cost that will probably reach well over a trillion dollars, more than 2,443 F-35s will be built for use by the Air Force, Marines, Navy, and various NATO allies.

On March 19, 2003, the U.S. with a policy of  “shock & awe” began bombing and missile attacks throughout Iraq.  “Shock & awe” was followed by a ground invasion leading to what has been U.S. occupation for the past eight years and 4448 deaths.  We never, of course, heard the names and numbers of Iraqi dead.  A number of medical studies placed Iraqi deaths at nearly one million. Another four million Iraqis have according to the UN been made refugees.

On March 19, 2011, we observed the 8th anniversary of the war in Iraq and U.S. occupation, remembering what with cruise missiles slamming into Baghdad  began on March 19, 2003.  That’s really not true though, is it?  Remember Bush #1’s “Operation: Desert Storm” Gulf War of 1991, followed by 12 years of economic sanctions, no fly zones, and repeated bombing campaigns during the Clinton Administration.  Remember UN reports of a million Iraqi deaths as result of the economic sanctions that embargoed the most basic human needs to live. More than 5,000 Iraqi children died each month according to these same reports.

The legacy of empire lies deep in the American soul of  “manifest destiny”  because as Chief  Sitting  Bull observed about white people  “…the love of possessions is a disease in them.


5th Station: Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus carry his cross.    Reading #5

Although tyranny, because it needs no consent, may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.  – Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951


It is impossible to refer to militarism, certainly domestic militarism, without speaking about the history of government repression amounting to a war on dissent that runs deep in U.S. history.

We speak easily of our “cherished freedoms” and our “constitutionally protected civil liberties”.  But the practice of those freedoms, and the right of dissent, has repeatedly been met not with celebratory rhetoric, but rather with the repressive  pre-eminence of “national  security” and war.

Forty years ago, on March 8, 1971, there was a break-in of a small FBI office in Media, PA, by an anti-war group calling itself the “Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI”. The group removed hundred of files from the Media office that revealed an FBI operation called COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) systematically surveiled, intimidated,  and harassed, in some cases with violence, groups opposing the war in Vietnam and advocating radical change, especially in communities of color.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s COINTELPRO file number was 100-46230.

The purpose of COINTELPRO was in the words of FBI director, J.Edgar Hoover, to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and otherwise neutralize” dissent.

Now, forty years later, reminiscent of COINTELPRO, as fear of the Other, suspicion, hatred, and racism, accompanies another time of war, the war on dissent has its sights set anew.

In the fall of 2010 it was disclosed that the PA Department of Homeland Security in contract to a private Israeli-based surveillance firm, the Institute for Terrorism Research & Response, had issued regular ‘Terror Watch’ Bulletins that tracked an array of activist groups across the state, including such groups the Brandywine Peace Community, and the anti-fracking group, Protecting Our Waters .

In the wake of 9/11 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, a whole new technological expanse and willingness was instituted that made us all suspect.  The Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, DC rivals the Pentagon in sheer size  and expanse.

This new picture of a national surveillance state, with classified federal budget allocations  that easily exceeds $60 billion annually, and which includes thousands of private for-profit surveillance firms,  has  made the COINTELPRO program of the 60’s and 70’s seem like an exercise in constitutional restraint.  Lockheed Martin, like other military contractors, is a major contractor to the Department of Homeland Security.

The Roman philosopher and  lawyer ,Cicero,  wrote that: “Law falls silent before war.”

6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.     Reading #6

Lest we ever (ever) forget, it was the United States that created and unleashed the very definition and reference for global terror: Nuclear weapons.

One Trident submarine (there are 18) carrying 24 missiles, with eight nuclear warheads per missile, is capable of 1,000 Hiroshimas. Lockheed Martin manages much the US nuclear bomb complex, including the Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico , which at an annual cost of $2.3 billion, is the nation’s chief nuclear weapons engineering lab.  Lockheed Martin manufactures Trident missiles. Ninety-nine percent of all high-level radioactive material in the US has been generated by nuclear weapons production. Plutonium, which fuels nuclear bombs, has a toxic life of 240,000 years — 10,000 human generations.

Nuclear weapons have poisoned our earth, our spirits, our imagination, and our judgment with the threat of unimaginable death and destruction.

The threat posed by nuclear weapons will end when the United States, the supreme nuclear superpower, decides to relinquish the terror that has been at the heart of U.S. power around the world since the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time.    Reading #7

There are (according to the US State Department) 190 independent countries in the world. Last year, 154 countries either took delivery of or signed new contracts for US arms. That’s about 80% of the world receiving arms made in the USA by arms manufacturers.   Lockheed Martin accounts for the largest number of weapons sold internationally by any single corporation in the worldwide and multi-billion dollar export of violence and death.

The US policy on Foreign Military Sales explicitly states that the benefit to the arms industry will be considered when deciding on arms sales. The profitability of arms sales is assured with the US government providing loan guarantees and assistance worth of billions of dollars.

A lot of blood flows through the Lockheed Martin money trail.  We can only imagine the death and carnage caused by Lockheed Martin weaponry and ask, in the words of Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War, “Is your money really that good?…When your death takes its toll, All the money you made will never buy back your soul ”


8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem       Reading #8


“These Are the Needin’ Times”, by Tom Mullian


9th Station: Jesus falls the 3rd time         Reading #9

April 4, 1967.  Exactly one year before his assassination Dr. King spoke in New York City at Riverside Church.  He condemned the war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and drew a connection to the war and its domestic fallout – the impoverishment of people in this country, the export of racism, and an arrogant belief in the absolute rightness of U.S. policy around the world.  Moreover, Dr. King in calling for nonviolent resistance to “the evil triplets of American society: racism, materialism, and militarism” was seeking an inseparability and continuum of action for social justice and peace.


10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments.          Reading #10


The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Pentagon, the most powerful agency of violence and war in the world today, took place on September 11, 1941, sixty years almost to the minute before American Airlines flight 77 arrowed into the side of building that faces Arlington Cemetery.

Like the child who was able to see that the Emperor was without clothes, can we see what’s before us today?

Can we see the greed, the lies, the violence that lay before us? Can we see the illusions of security that come from making war?

September 11, 2001, all of our imperial illusions of security based on nuclear weapons, Star Wars shields, or trillion dollar military budgets, shattered in a wink.

We were vulnerable, just like everybody else on this fragile planet. If there be such a thing as real security then it must rest on something more than what we can do for ourselves with muscle or weapons, something that has to do with relationship with others and the earth, with fairness, with honoring the commonweal and the commonwealth, with being neighbor not the overlord. And that means justice.

How can we restore our suffering society and crippled economy, our war-weary world, our slaughtered environment? Can we really face with weapons and militarism the realties of climate change chaos?

Bombs may win wars and bring the false peace of victory, but justice will never be achieved with bombs and cruise missiles nor with Star Wars and out of this world plans (however profitable) for the militarization of space. The only victor in war is war itself.

If you want real peace — not dominion or wealth or empire ­— then work for justice: justice for one another, for the community, for the earth.


11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross    Reading #11

 “Non-cooperation with evil,” Gandhi preached, “is as essential as cooperation with good.”

There is an uncompromising difference between the privileged wealth secured through every weapon built by Lockheed Martin and the faithful demands for justice and peace. It is nothing less than the difference between crucifixion and resurrection, cooperation and resistance.

The crosses before us today announce the fact of Lockheed Martin – weapons and war. These crosses express our mourning for the toll of war, of human neglect and environmental indifference, of the greed and violence summarized daily and made corporate in Lockheed Martin.

These crosses represent the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ today.  Lockheed Martin, War and Weapons, Christ Crucified!

We stand in resistance to Lockheed Martin. We embrace the nonviolent cross of our time: resistance to war and militarism, the works of peacemaking and service to the victims of war and injustice, resistance to the injustice that is Lockheed Martin, the face of war-making today

Today, we remember Jesus’ words: “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you…”(John 14:2)
Luke 23:33-49
33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38There was a written notice above him, which read:| THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[b]”
43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

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