Crazy like Jesus

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:21

That crazy 84 year old nun Megan Rice is at it again.

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Three years in the jug for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium in Oakridge, Tennessee.

In her closing statement, Rice asked the judge to sentence her to life in prison, even though sentencing guidelines called for about six years.

“Please have no leniency with me,” she said. “To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.”

Megan is the best the Catholic church offers and as Pope francis, she has the smell of the sheep on her, a stench which few of the boys in purple can claim.

her story is illuminating.

Born to privilege in Manhattan, a doctor father and an amazing mother who did her PHd on Catholic views on slavery. They were “Catholic Worker” catholics who counted Dorothy Day among their friends.

At 18 Megan entered the sisters of the Holy Child and gained a Masters degree in cellular biology. She t taught in Ghana and Nigeria from 1962 to 2004. It is  here where I met Megan—well kind of. She told me that she was a big fan of our paper the Catholic New Times which reached the sisters in Africa. All this she related to me when my wife and I visited her in her humble office in Las Vegas located located on the Las Vegas Catholic Worker’s Bartlett Avenue property. There were no slot machines visible to our eyes.  For many years Megan has been part of the Nevada Desert Experience (http://www.nevadadesertexperience.org/) whose mandate is  “to stop testing, development and use of nuclear and other weapons systems through a campaign of prayer, education, dialogue, and nonviolent direct action.”

Each year the center leads a prayerful expedition into the heart of darkness at the infamous Nevada Test Site, the very spot the nuclear age was spawned.

Megan Rice has been arrested  over 35 times for her witness to the nonviolent Jesus. She  spoke an obvious truth to power:

“The U.S. government is spending too much money on weapons and the military.” What an understatement! She told the judge about the many letters of support she had received, including one from youth in Afghanistan.

“This is the next generation and it is for these people that we’re willing to give our lives,” she said.

Her deep belief is profoundly Catholic : “nuclear weapons are incompatible with the peace so desperately needed throughout the world and therefore cannot be justified.”

Sr. Mary Ann Buckley, head of the American Province of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus supported Sr. Rice.

“Our Society has a history of standing up for those in need,” Sr. Buckley added. “We are dedicated to helping women, children and families by providing educational, spiritual and social programs across four continents and throughout the United States. We intend to stand by Sister Megan and our Church’s clear teaching against nuclear proliferation as the current situation is resolved.

Maybe Rome and the American bishops could “stand by” such a witness.

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