Lay Down My Sword and Shield

Source of and Resistance to Modern Wars

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This course will help participants clarify their views about participating in, paying for or in any way tolerating warfare. The teacher, Kathy Kelly, is mainly familiar with wars waged by the U.S., having lived alongside people trapped by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, there is much to learn from people still trapped in war zones or seeking refuge from wars. Articles, interviews, films, art, literature and data will be presented about ongoing wars against Yemen, the West Bank and Gaza. By laying aside the futility of war, and thereby dismantling militarism, we can then rationally discuss solving the very real terrors we face, particularly the terrors of what we are doing to our own environment. Participants will be encouraged to develop written reflections which can be useful as eventual letters to the editor, op-eds, homilies, and correspondence directed to elected officials, CEOs of weapon making companies, and various community leaders who should be working to end all wars. Through conversations with one another, participants will ideally build individual and collective skills enabling us, week by week, to speak truthfully about the costs of war and the price of peace.



Your Instructor


Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly is a peace activist whose efforts have led her, at times, into war zones and U.S. prisons. She lived in Iraq throughout the initial weeks of two U.S. wars against Iraq: Operation Desert Storm (1991) and the Shock and Awe bombing and invasion (2003). She and her companions in Voices in the Wilderness organized 70 delegations to Iraq, all in open and public defiance of the economic sanctions against Iraq. With Voices for Creative Nonviolence, she was able to visit Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul on 30 separate occasions from 2010 – 2019. She developed an earlier version of this course while serving a three month prison sentence for having attempted to deliver a loaf of bread to the commander of a U.S. military base operating weaponized drones over Afghanistan. She particularly appreciates opportunities to visit with secondary school and University students, and will try to communicate, throughout the course, what she has been learning from younger activists.

Email: [email protected]


Course Curriculum


  Introduction - Course begins April 1 Zoom Mtg Info Coming
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  Week 1: Waging War Against Children
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  Week Two: Who Are the Terrorists?
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  Week Three: Who Are the War Profiteers?
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  Week Four: Swords Into Plowshares
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  Week Five: Education, Education, Education…an indispensable step
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  Week Six: Can Reparations Be Made
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  Week Seven: Listen to Earth, Abolish War
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  Week Eight: Locked in Winter, Summer Lies, Gather Your Bones Together, Rise
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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