September 11, 2011
Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream
The story mentions Peaceful Tomorrow’s member Terry Rockefeller
By Sarah Hoye, CNN Belief Blog
Philadelphia (CNN) – An unlikely pairing took to the stage Saturday in front of a sold out audience at World Café Live to promote peace and ice cream.
Philadelphia-based Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne partnered with Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, to raise public awareness about federal military spending.
The evening started off on a somber note with Cohen pouring 10,000 BB gun pellets into a metal container to illustrate the power of the United States’ nuclear arsenal in front of a stunned audience.
“It’s that kind of overkill mentality that drives an out-of-control Pentagon budget,” he said.
Cohen later used Oreos – with each one representing $10 billion of federal spending – to show how the money stacks up compared to social programs.
Cohen had read Claiborne’s book, “Jesus for President,” and thought the author was “on to something.”
The two were later introduced and planed the “Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream Tour” over the past year.
“Imagine a world with fewer bombs and more ice cream,” Claiborne said. “We’re here (tonight) because it’s time to re-think our world and our federal budget.”
“There’s no better way we can imagine honoring the anniversary than by having hope that another world is possible,” he said.
The duo hosted the 90-minute variety show critiquing military spending, violence and war. It included Iraq veteran-turned-activist Logan Laituri, and Terry Rockefeller, who lost her sister during the September 11 attacks.
“There can be no war on terror. War is terror,” said Rockefeller who has traveled to the Middle East as part of the anti-war group September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
Artist and welder Josh Seitzer transformed a non-firing AK-47 into a potato pitchfork during Saturday
The event was peppered with musical performances by Philadelphia-based Christian rockers the Psalters and Nashville singer-songwriter John Francis.
Things grew lighter by the end of the evening, when the hosts asked audience members to fight for a more peaceful world before the comical anti-violence juggling act by world champion juggler Josh Horton left them laughing.
Cohen lay on the stage while Horton juggled large knives above him.
And of course, there was ice cream, courtesy of Ben and Jerry’s.
“If we’re going to have fewer bombs and more ice cream, we need to shift our budget to what helps people live instead of killing people,” Cohen said.