Jesus. Bombs. And ice cream. Now that's an unlikely trio.
Shane Claiborne, a Christian activist and author based in Philadelphia has come together with Ben Cohen, the well-known co-founder of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, to raise awareness about what the two see as renegade U.S. federal military spending:
The duo collaborated to launch their "Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream Tour" this past year. After Cohen read Claiborne's book, "Jesus for President," he was so enamored with the author that he set out to work with him.
Over the weekend, the two men hosted a Philadelphia speaking event in which they addressed their leftist views on U.S. military spending. During the 90-minute show, they railed against violence, war and imbalanced federal spending. CNN has more:
The evening started off on a somber note with Cohen pouring 10,000 BB gun pellets into a metal container to illustrate the power of the United States’ nuclear arsenal in front of a stunned audience.
“It’s that kind of overkill mentality that drives an out-of-control Pentagon budget,” he said.
Later in the presentation, Cohen used Oreos to represent the scope of federal spending, using one cookie to represent $10 billion of federal spending. In the end, he was attempting to show the audience how money on war and military stacks against the funds allocated for social programs.
During the talk, Claiborne encouraged the audience to "Imagine a world with fewer bombs and more ice cream." Such a sentiment is certainly attractive, regardless of one's political leanings. He continued:
“We’re here (tonight) because it’s time to re-think our world and our federal budget.
There’s no better way we can imagine honoring the [9/11] anniversary than by having hope that another world is possible."
“If we’re going to have fewer bombs and more ice cream," Cohen said, echoing his call for a utopian world predicated upon sweetness, "we need to shift our budget to what helps people live instead of killing people."
The event also included Logan Laituri, who has become an outspoken anti-war voice, despite the fact that he's an Iraq veteran and Terry Rockefeller who lost her sister during the September 11 terror attacks.
CNN dubbed Claiborne and Cohen "an unlikely pairing," but in reality both individuals have a history of working toward peace (or, as some would contend, working toward more left-leaning ideals when it comes to international engagement and U.S. military policy).
Claiborne, too, has a long history of railing against U.S. military operations, especially those being undertaken in Iraq. Back in 2003, he went to the Middle Eastern nation for a "peacekeeping trip" that was rooted in his stance against U.S. military intervention. Claiborne is also a blogger on Jim Wallis' leftist "God's Politics" web site. Below, hear him speak about his Iraqi experiences:
Needless to say, Claiborne and Cohen aren't exactly surprise partners in "crime." Unlikely friends? Not so much. But a left-leaning, influential powerhouse comprised of a faith leader and a prominent businessman? Certainly.