Well, within two weeks I find myself writing about Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream for the second time. I wrote previously about the social-justice agenda that is prominently featured as part of the mission and business plan of the ice-cream company (see “My Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Social Justice“). Today I share with you a partnership recently launched between one of Ben and Jerry’s co-founders, Ben Cohen, and the popular Christian activist, Shane Claiborne, best known for the founding of the “Simple Way,” a community described as following a o of evangelical living called “New Monasticism.” Claiborne is popular among young evangelical and other Christians, many of whom have read one of his several books.
Ben and Shane have teamed up to organize an event in Philadelphia the day before the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 to promote nonviolence and peace. Here is an excerpt of Shane writing about the event in The Huffington Post recently:
I am teaming up with Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and an all-star cast to create a little event to provoke the imagination on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. We’ve been calling it “Jesus, Bombs, and Ice Cream.”
It will be a night of reconciliation and of grace.
A victim of 9/11 will share about why she has insisted that more violence will not cure the epidemic of hatred in the world.
A veteran from Iraq will speak about the collision he felt as a Christian trying to follow the nonviolent-enemy-love of Jesus on the cross while carrying a gun.
A welder will tie an AK-47 in a knot, while a muralist paints something beautiful on stage.
We’re going to do a Skype call with Afghan youth working for peace, and hear their dreams for a world free of war and bombs and other ugly things…
Oh, and word on the street is: ice cream will be served.
If I didn’t have commitments previously scheduled for that day, I might find myself among those gathered at this event. I certainly endorse the cause that Claiborne and Cohen have sought to promote: nonviolence and peace in a world that has, as Claiborne notes in his HuffPo piece, lost its imagination and has increasingly resorted to violence. As Christians, it seems that events like this are a good way to gather together and promote a Gospel view of nonviolence in our world. I hope some of you are able to make it!