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"Shortly after Charlie Liteky came out of one year in prison for nonviolently protesting the teaching of torture and killing at the infamous School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, I went to hear him speak at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. In the question and answer period after his powerful presentation, I asked innocently, 'Mr. Liteky, I don’t understand. First the US government gives you the highest medal in the land, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for saving lives in Vietnam and now they have put you in prison for a year for trying to save lives in Latin America. I am totally perplexed. Can you explain this total discrepancy in how our government has treated you?'
"Charlie answered that he was also totally perplexed. 'Unfortunately,' he said, 'if you save American lives in a war zone, you are saving ‘good’ lives. Whereas, if you try to save lives and prevent torture of people living in countries our government considers a threat, that is considered a criminal act.'
"Charlie Liteky did not have this double standard practiced by our government. He believed, as does Brian Willson, that 'Our lives are not worth more and their lives are not worth less.' Charlie was willing to risk his own life and well being to try to save human lives—whether in Vietnam, Latin America, Iraq, or any other part of the world. He found the courage and determination to act on this belief over and over again.
"Charlie’s book, Renunciation, is a powerful story of his journey from American patriot believing in the 'good war' to a man who came to see the whole human family as part of his own family and was willing to put his own life on the line to act on that belief and save others in his family from torture, death and destruction.
"Charlie has been and will continue to be a mentor and role model for all of us who want to live in a world free of endless war and killing of one another. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., Charlie lived his life to help build the 'beloved community.' Read Renunciation and feel inspired and hopeful that each of us can make a difference."
--David Hartsough is the author of Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist
"Charlie Liteky's heroism in Vietnam is legendary. His courage while saving the lives of numerous comrades is almost beyond belief, and he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for it. But I'm even more impressed by Charlie's moral heroism—although he would never call it that. This book recounts, in his own words, the process by which Charlie became a conscious, nonviolent warrior for peace."
--Margaret Knapke was prosecuted with Charlie Liteky and seven others in 2000 for "crossing the line" at Ft. Benning, GA.
"Bart Giamatti, once the president of Yale, later commissioner of baseball, reportedly said of Ted Williams: 'He was the kind of guy who, if he'd been born a chemist would have had to win the Nobel Prize.' Those of us who were privileged to know Charlie Liteky in religious life had similar feelings: the kind of guy who, if chance and God somehow saw to it that he ended up in a foxhole in Vietnam with a cross on his helmet, then nothing would do except for him to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Not that he was lusting toward fame, or even heroism. Just something in his make up to do what seemed practically impossible, defying human capability. Well, he did it.
"The French have an expression: notre demon est le mesure de notre ange. 'Our demon is the measure of our angel.' This, too, I think is a truth about Charlie Liteky. Great dark passions always stirred, but without them he couldn't have been fueled to the greatness he achieved. He was never a man without fierce pride. He was stubborn. But there was a childlike gentleness there that could also be perceived, a certain whimsy, a naïveté, and a wonderful ability to cackle. And the man's hands, oh, those hands that could swallow your own hand, and, if you had a football nearby and ‘lateraled’ it his way, were then capable of tossing the damn thing seventy-five yards downfield.
"That legend lived large in our seminary world, a world that seems now back beyond the moon, lost to time. But certain figures bump up large in that myth, and Charlie Liteky—or Brother Angelo, as was his professed name in the seminary—was chief among them. Sail on, sailor."
"As we prepared for the 1997 SOAW sign action at Ft. Benning, I watched Charlie repeatedly unpack and repack his small pickup truck. I teased him about it at the time but have retained that memory. Just as Charlie thoughtfully and carefully rearranged his physical possessions, he also thoughtfully and carefully reassessed his spiritual and social connections and obligations. As he learned more he accepted more; as he accepted more he challenged more. Charlie was always on a journey and this memoir allows all of us to travel with him."
"Charlie Liteky is in the vanguard of the upcoming GREAT AWAKENING of the people of the United States. With the coming of the Trump administration, people are organized as never before. The future of life on this planet is at stake. We will not tolerate perpetual war. And war is the very greatest threat to the environment. Read Charlie’s book. He is a prophet of Church and State."