Some Oklahomans advocate creating U.S. peace department

Under the auspices of a national organization called The Peace Alliance, a local group works tirelessly to convince the public of the need for a U.S. Department of Peace, with a cabinet-level secretary of peace.

In 2001 and again in 2003, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio introduced legislation to create a Department of Peace.

His current bill, House Resolution 808, the Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act, has 68 co-sponsors who actively support its passage. With a total of 218 "yes" votes, HR 808 would pass. It then must be introduced and passed in the Senate and, finally, ratified by the president.

"The thrust was to campaign for a U.S., cabinet-level Department of Peace," said Lydia Gill Polley, the co-coordinator of the state chapter of the national Peace Alliance, "and I was captivated by the logic of it " that we need to do what we aspire for, hope for, pray for."

Not everyone is so convinced, she admitted: "It's surprising how the word 'peace' puts people off. They think of a dope-smoking, radical, sandal-wearing person from the Seventies. Or, they think peace is too illusive: It's impossible."

But, a little resistance doesn't deter her.

"I've been more convinced, committed and passionate that this is something that all across the political spectrum people can work for," she said. "It's not a partisan issue. You can't be against peace; you can't be against nonviolence." "Jody Noerdlinger


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