Father Ben Peace2019 Urmston Peace2019

Guest Blogger

Father Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J., is the director emeritus of Peace and Justice Programs at Xavier University. Father Urmston has been a guiding force of peace and justice issues at Xavier University. In 1943 Fr. Ben came to Xavier as an undergraduate and entered the Army. He was in Patton's army in Europe, also in the Philippine Islands. While in the Philippines, Fr. Ben decided to become a Jesuit and in 1946 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate. Then in 1971, he made his return to Xavier University where he became an instructor of Theology, focusing his teachings on international issues, human rights, and non-violent solutions to the problems of the world. In 1977 he began Faith and Justice Forum, a weekly radio talk show which continued at WVXU until 2005.

Embargo: United States Against the World


Each year Cuba asks the United Nations to lift the economic embargo the United States imposes on the nation of Cuba.

For the past 22 years, the United Nations has overwhelmingly supported Cuba in this resolution. Last year the resolution was passed188 to 2, with only the United States and Israel voting against it. 

An article in The Guardian points out,

Although many US allies join Washington in criticizing Cuba’s one-party system and repression of political opponents, the Americans have lost nearly all international support for the embargo since the collapse of the Soviet Union. No other nation besides the United States has an economic embargo against Cuba.

The fact that the US stands alone shows the undemocratic nature and ineffectiveness of the UN. Sensible changes proposed by Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World  by Dr. Joseph E. Schwartzberg would be a step forward toward a better world.

US intransigence also shows a lack of openness to new approaches and better ideas. If 188 nations have a different approach in a matter that adversely affects the citizens of a whole nation, isn’t it time that we rethink a policy that seems to hurt everyone--including ourselves?

A New World for a New Millennium: What Can You Envision?

Imagine a democratic world federation

I don't remember when or how, but one day it dawned on me what our world would be like if we had a democratic world federation. Ever since, when I read a newspaper or watch the news, I imagine how a democratic world federation could help global climate change, the global economy, and the suffering of war and violence.

Wouldn't we be more secure, more open to other cultures and peoples, with better communication with other nations? I invite you to do your own visioning (and commenting). Not that there wouldn't be challenges and difficulties. Nothing will work if we don't work at it. But wouldn't it be "easier to be good" as the mentor of Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin used to say? Even if we went more in that direction toward a sharing world community, wouldn't that be a better world? Happy envisioning!!

A different way to look at our world is presented in a readable way by Deb Reich in No More Enemies. She invites us to change enemies into partners by envisioning alternatives. Trees take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. We can be inundated by the violence in our world and give out love which unites us.

I also suggest my article in Tikkun on Ersatz Security.