From Nonviolent Cow

Main: Welcome

What’s New on the Nonviolent Cow?

The Lead Waters of Racism in Milwaukee

Ending Racism, Poverty and Violence in Milwaukee

The name of this web site, Nonviolent Cow (formerly “Nonviolent Worm”), brings together two forces I have experienced in my life: the wonder and power of creation, and the wonder and power of the Spirit, or creative nonviolence.
On the right sidebar you will find links related to the Power of Nonviolence, represented by the word nonviolent, and on the left sidebar you will find links related to the Power of Growing, represented by the word cow.

Below you will find links to the Diary of a Worm, Nonviolence, Featured Articles, quotes, art, jokes plus much more in observations, information and reflections. Check our Wonderful Links to find links to other related sites. Enjoy and take what you want and need. All is free as all shall be well.
Bob Graf

Milwaukee Tap Water has lead poison in racially segregated neighborhoods

You can’t see, smell, or taste the lead but it can cause irreversible brain damage, especially in infants and young children.

Stop Jailing Our Ill In Milwaukee

The mental health system in Milwaukee County has changed since 2010 but, sadly, we are still sending ill persons to jail and prison.

Show Us the Money

Diary of a Worm

Journal of daily reflections on the progress of my home-based agriculture experiments, mixed with observations about life, peace, justice, faith, family, community and friends.

The Power of Nonviolence Rest in Suffering - Monday, March 06, 2017

Before we can understand the power of nonviolence we must first understand what nonviolence is not. It is not a movement to be passive or silent in face of injustice. It is not a movement against a person, be it a friend, enemy or politician.

Nonviolence is a movement, by word and action, for something just and peaceful. For example, the civil rights movement of 50’s and 60 was not against anyone but for the ability for all races to sit anywhere on the bus, at a lunch carter or to use a public bathroom. Nonviolence is based on values and beliefs, be they Gospel values or human rights, for shelter, clean water, food or health care.

Nonviolence fights wrong and evil not with violence or more injustice but by absorbing the violence and evil and returning it with love and goodness. A nonviolent person knows no fear or hate in the struggle for justice or truth. A nonviolent person struggles with nonviolent word and actions for what is just and right, their “opinion of truth” formed by conscience.

A nonviolent person does not judge other persons words but judges actions of person. “Judge not the sinner but the sin.” For example, our former President talked about achieving a world free of nuclear weapons but in realty built new nuclear weapon plants and new and more usable and deadly nuclear weapons. Our present president talks about nuclear superiority but has not done, to my knowledge, anything new about it. Yet many blame or fear him for the nuclear build up. Pope Francis talks to US Congress about arms dealers having “blood on their hands”. The President and Congress listened and praised him. Yet the USA keeps on being the biggest arms dealers in the world. People killed in Yemen or Palestine with American weapons are killed by us, Americans. We need to take responsibly for these actions and struggle nonviolently to commit this sin no more. We teach in our Catholic Universities the equality and dignity of all life, yet teach war and killing, killing without conscience.

Our reluctance to adopt a nonviolent way of life and action seems to be our fear of sacrifice, being marginalized and suffering loss. An author, Judith Brown, defines Gandhi’s nonviolent struggle as “striving nonviolently to the point of sacrifice rather than fighting to attain one’s vision of truth.” Martin Luther King Jr., in his letter from the Birmingham jail, talks about how “disciple nonviolence totally confused the rulers of the South”. “They did not know what to do. When they finally reached for clubs, dogs and guns, they found the world was watching, and then the power of nonviolent protest became manifest.” St. Ignatius of Loyola when praying for the grace of God in his “Spiritual Exercises” prays for the “desire to be with you (Jesus) in accepting all wrongs and all rejections and all poverty, both actual and spiritual.”

This essential element of nonviolence, sacrifice, accepting suffering, inconvenience, insults or injury while still struggling for justice, equality and peace is at the heart of nonviolence power.

Power, for our government and the military/industrial/education complex, means having the ability to inflict punishment and violence on people it considers a threat to the American Way. Power for people of nonviolence means taking responsibility for the violence the USA directly or indirectly imposed on people of Somalia, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and other countries around the world. People of nonviolence need to fight racism here in the United States be it overtly or structurally, as it is in Milwaukee, with the lack of urgency to remove lead water lines that are poisoning our children, predominately in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Christian nonviolence chooses the Way of Jesus, even when it means choosing poverty, suffer and a cross over the American Way of power, money and honor.

Nonviolent persons first must be aware of their own sinfulness, participation, by word, deed or silence in evil like segregation or “killer drones.” Then they can condemn the sins and evils around us. Then by word or action, suffering and loss if necessary, they can strive without violence against this evil, not looking to blame anyone, but to root out the evil. Only then we work together to exercise the power of nonviolence, to change the world, to make society “an easier place to be good.”

Fear is at the heart of violence and war. The sign about the cross of Jesus declared his crime, treason. It read “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Although he was innocent of this crime, he suffered the punishment of death on the cross. The cross is a symbol of nonviolence. If we practice the power of nonviolence in a world that values war, violence, profits, pleasure, greed it is inevitable that we will suffer being insulted, marginalized, ignored or even jailed.


back to top

See the full list of articles in the Diary of a Worm.


Quotes from Mahatma Gandhi

First they ignore you

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Nonviolent Jesus

“Everyone in the world knows that Jesus and His teachings were nonviolent except Christians.” M. Gandhi

Quotes from Dorothy Day

A Biography of Dorthy Day by Jim Forest

Letter from Dorthy Day prime directive of Gospel

On Lent

In general, in the first flush of Lent, the struggle is undertaken bravely. What if during the long weeks the fervor lessens and the work of accumulating graces was continued with many lapses, but by effort of will. That time when will has to be brought into play is perhaps the most important of all, despite failures and the total lack of a sense of accomplishment, of growth. Fervor comes again with Holy Week, joy comes on the day of resurrection, with all nature singing exultantly God’s praises.
To keep united to God through the suffering Humanity of His son—that is the aim of Lent. — Dorothy Day from her column “Day After Day”, The Catholic Worker, April 1935

People Need to be Distrubed.

“When it is said that we disturb people too much by the words pacifism and anarchism, I can only think that people need to be disturbed, that their consciences need to be aroused, that they do indeed need to look into their work, and study new techniques of love and poverty and suffering for each other. Of course the remedies are drastic, but then too the evil is a terrible one and we are all involved, we are all guilty, and most certainly we are all going to suffer. The fact that we have “the faith,” that we go to the sacraments, is not enough. ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me’ with napalm, nerve gas, our hydrogen bomb, our ‘new look’.” (“Are The Leaders Insane?” By Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker, April 1954, 1, 6.}

Everyday Chores

“Paper work, cleaning the house, dealing with the innumerable visitors who come all through the day, answering the phone, keeping patience and acting intelligently, which is to find some meaning in all that happens — these things, too, are the works of peace, and often seem like a very little way.”
— Dorothy Day, On Pilgrimage, December 1965

Quotes from Thomas Merton

There is no explanation of most of what goes on in our own hearts

“The heart of man can be full of so much pain, even when things are exteriorly all right”. It becomes all the more difficult because today we are used to thinking that there are explanations for everything. But there is no explanation of most of what goes on in our own hearts, and we cannot account for it all. No use resorting to the kind of mental tranquillizers that even religious explanations sometimes offer. Faith must be deeper than that, rooted in the unknown and in the abyss of darkness that is the ground of our being. No use teasing the darkness to try to make answers grow out of it. But if we learn how to have a deep inner patience, things solve themselves, or God solves them if you prefer: but do not expect to see how. Just learn to wait, and do what you can and help other people. Often it is in helping someone else we find the best way to bear our own trouble.” — Thomas Merton from his Christmas letter, 1966

Where we are all going?

…. “I am sick up to the teeth and beyond the teeth, up to the eyes and beyond the eyes, with all forms of projects and expectations and statements and programs and explanations of anything, especially explanations about where we are all going, because where we are all going is where we went a long time ago, over the falls. We are in a new river and we don’t know it.”
(extract from a letter from Thomas Merton to Daniel Berrigan)

Violence embedded in culture itself

“The real focus of American violence is not in esoteric groups but in the very culture itself, its mass media, its extreme individualism and competitiveness, its inflated myths of virility and toughness, and its overwhelming preoccupation with the power of nuclear, chemical, bacteriological, and psychological overkill. If we live in what is essentially a culture of overkill, how can we be surprised at finding violence in it? Can we get to the root of the trouble? In my opinion, the best way to do it would have been the classic way of religious humanism and non-violence exemplified by Gandhi. That way seems now to have been closed. I do not find the future reassuring,” — Thomas Merton edited with an introduction by Gordon C. Zahn (Boston, MA: McCall’s Publishing Company, 1971), p. 230

If you want to study modern history

If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.-- Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation, ch 17

worshiping the false self in place of God

“After all, what is your personal identity? It is what you really are, your real self. None of us is what he thinks he is, or what other people think he is, still less what his passport says he is… And it is fortunate for most of us that we are mistaken. We do not generally know what is good for us. That is because, in St. Bernard’s language, our true personality has been concealed under the ‘disguise’ of a false self, the ego, whom we tend to worship in place of God.” —Thomas Merton, The Waters of Siloe
Harcourt & Brace, 1949, p. 349

silence between words

“For language to have meaning, there must be intervals of silence somewhere, to divide word from word and utterance from utterance. He who retires into silence does not necessarily hate language. Perhaps it is love and respect for language which imposes silence upon him. For the mercy of God is not heard in words unless it is heard, both before and after the words are spoken, in silence,”
—Thomas Merton, “Philosophy of Silence,” in Disputed Questions
(NY: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1960), p. 181

Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr

Nonviolent Direct Action

“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.” Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail

America, you must be born again

“A nation that will keep people in slavery for 244 years will “thingify” them—make them things. Therefore they will exploit them, and poor people generally, economically. And a nation that will exploit economically will have foreign investments and everything else, and will have to use its military to protect them. All of these problems are tied together. What I am saying today is that we must go from this convention and say, ‘America, you must be born again!’” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

Poor in the Military

“Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.” Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence

Quotes on Conscience

Priority of Conscience

“And it is my conscience that compels me to say publicly that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is agrave injustice against women, against our Church and against our God who calls both men and women to the priesthood.” Fr. Roy Bourgeois in his letter to Maryknoll why he could not recant his belief and public statements that support the ordination of women.

“Over the pope … there still stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary, even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority.” Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI,in his 1968 commentary on the Second Vatican Council’s document, Gaudium et Spes.

Nonviolence or Militarism

Breaking the Silence

Teach War No More

Marquette and Notre Dame Teach War and Killing

Marquette University, Be Faithful to the Gospel,and No Longer Host Departments of Military Science.

Dorthy Day’s Worst Nightmare

No More War Spending

Free Palestine

Cost of War in $

Spirituality of Nonviolence

Catholic Workers and Military Training on Catholic Campuses

Conversation Between St. Ignatius of Loyola and Mahatma Gandhi

Featured article

Failures and Abuses in Mental Health Care

This article is by a person with a mental health diagnoses that has been a patient and care giver in the Mental Health System

by Janis K.

In recent years, Milwaukee County has changed the title of its mental health facility from the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex to the Behavioral Health Division (BHD). The facility has been under fire for many years due to its inadequate level of care, and documented assaults and deaths of patients on the premises. Yet it is the only facility available for the indigent; those in trouble with the law; and patients who are a danger to themselves or others yet refusing care. Today in addition, our county jail houses more mentally ill persons than the BHD and all other hospitals combined.

I would like to discuss in this writing the vulnerability of our mental health patients and the importance of radical changes to our system of mental health care today by giving examples of failed approaches in the behavioral model used by County BHD. Behavioral medicine is a byword these days for the treatment of mental health issues. This approach can have benefits with new techniques of cognitive therapies and a focus in some circles on proactive and preventative care. However when behavioral health is interpreted narrowly as simply changing the behavior of an individual, it becomes a misnomer which can lead to grave abuses of the human person. “Treatments” that use reward and punishment may well change the behavior of a patient with mental illness but in no way benefit that individual or society at large. I will give three examples. These are mostly not new methods but two of them are used extensively to this day.

Patients at the Mental Health Complex in the 1980’s for example were issued cigarettes “from the desk” on an hourly basis for “good behavior”. These cigarettes were purchased, not by the patients, but supplied by the facility. I had the experience while being housed there at the age of 20 of a nurse placing a lit cigarette between my fingers though I had never smoked in my life. The temporary ‘gain’ of calmer patients has huge ramifications on their physical, mental and social health. This is a simple example of ‘reward and punishment’ but I think the negative consequences are obvious.

Various quotes

Phil Berrigan

“Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.” (St. John of Kanty)

“The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.” (Frederick Douglass)

Hating another person does harm both to those who suffer discrimination and those who discriminate and oppress others. (Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory December 2, 2016, Catholic News Service)

But before we pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit of peace upon us, I think it is helpful to name the horrific reality of these dark times, namely, that we are possessed in varying degrees by the evil spirit of war and violence. The evil spirit seeks to discourage us, and to keep us quiet, indifferent, apathetic and afraid. The evil spirit wants us to mind our own business and look the other way while it stirs up war and kills our sisters and brothers. The evil spirit is behind every act of violence, every bomb, every murder, every execution, every abortion, every assassination, every starvation and every war.” (John Dear, The Holy Spirit of Peace, May 28, 2004)

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” (Frederick Douglas)

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” - Albert Einstein

“Since war itself is the most extreme form of terrorism, a war on terrorism is profoundly self-contradictory.” -Howard Zinn

“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to them will We give a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on them their reward according to the best of their actions.” Quran 16:97

“In the Catholic Worker we must try to have the voluntary poverty of St. Francis, the charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the intellectual approach of St. Dominic, the easy conversations about things that matter of St. Philip Neri, the manual labor of St. Benedict.” - Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement

Pictures And Quotes

Inconvenient Facts And Pictures

Jokes and Editorial Cartoons


Editorial Cartoons


Restoring the Senses, Gardening and Orthodox Easter

Corporate Takeover of Near West Side
Woman’s Ordination

[[<script src=“” type=“text/javascript”></script>
<div id=“this-american-life-515–4″ class=“this-american-life” style=“width:540px;”></div>]]

Retrieved from
Page last modified on August 17, 2016, at 11:25 PM