Sunday, May 9, 2010

in the name of womanhood...

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870.  By 1872 Howe, a Boston Unitarian (and member of James Freeman Clarke's Church of the Disciples) writer, lecturer, and social reformer had established the National "Mother's Day for Peace"...

"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,

whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of

Julia Ward Howe
Boston  1870

Happy Mother's Day and

1 comment:

Robin Edgar said...

Looks like great minds think alike Boston Unitarian. :-)

I was not aware of your own blog post about Julia Ward Howe's 'Mother's Day proclamation' until seeing it just now.

It is unfortunate that Julia Ward Howe's original vision for Mother's Day has been watered down into a largely commercial celebration of motherhood rather than the international "Day For Peace" she had proposed. It seems to me that Unitarian*Universalists could do worse than to try to reclaim Julia ward Howe's original vision for Mother's Day.