Please don't miss the important youtube video (and rate it) just below the "Ode"!
I am reposting this well-written and colorful piece by Ron which was first posted here in the archives under "Special NCADP Special Recognition Award for Jan 22 2008" --See the Call for Gratitudes and the Comments under that story. Look for more repostings and some new similar items and reports coming up. Because I've detected a little Bill Pelke humility or shyness--I took a little break from these--but now I'm trying to "sneak" these in with the visibility they deserve. Connie
Ode to Bill
"Ron, I would like you to meet Bill Pelke."
It wasn’t that long ago that I was standing in my living room listening to Abe Bonowitz introduce Bill to Pat and I.
Abe, Juan Melendez and Bill Pelke were on a Journey of Hope tour across the states. I had talked to Abe and Juan at a Seminar for exonorees at a retreat in Florida.
They were traveling the states in a van, towing a trailer full of abolitionist T-shirts and literature . The wording on both vehicles said "Journey of Hope.
From Violence to Healing, Stop the Killing." (along with an inordinate amount of anti-Bush parroting.) I dubbed it Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.
The very sight of it conjured up images of southern ministers who traveled from town to town, in rural areas, preaching the words of Armageddon. I could almost hear them, hollering on hot summer nights, in circus tents, to save the towns people from eternal damnation. Halleluia Brothers! Can I get an Amen?
When Abe told me that they would be in Ohio around Easter time I invited this strolling minstrel show to my place, in Michigan for the Easter weekend. "Come
and have Easter dinner with us. I know you guys probably have not had any real food in a long time. Pat is a great cook. Spend the whole week end, you can kick back and relax. You probably need a little vacation from the Journey."
Juan told me that they will would have a guy named Bill Pelke with them.
"If it is OK ," he added.
"Sure", I said, "Any friend of you guys Is welcome in my house." Abe
went on to tell me a little about Bill and I immediately had second thoughts about this visit. Great. After years of successfully keeping the Jehovah Witnesses at bay, I now was letting one stay in my house.
I have learned that there are two things you cannot change about fanatics. Their mind or the subject. I believe that this is inherent to all extremists.
"If he starts trying to save me, he is going to end up staying in the garage," I told Abe. "NO NO," Juan said to me " Bill’s not like that, He’s cool." Abe then
says to me "You could use some saving you heathen." "Is he a Jehovah’s witness?" I queried. "NO," was the reply.
I remember one of the first things Bill did was to give me an autographed copy of his book. Early the next morning I scanned the book and realized that there was a whole lot more to this man than meets the eye.
We went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. It was here that Abe, Juan, Bill, myself, and my girlfriend Pat began one of the longest discussions, on the Death Penalty in recent history. It lasted for 3 continuous days and nights and is still ongoing. I don’t even remember what we ate or drank as the conversation was that engrossing. I even ignored our waiter as he waited on us. ( This guy tries to hit on me sometimes when I eat there. This usually annoys me which gives me a chance to try out a new insult. Pat thinks it is cute and gets her laughs out of it.)
Enter Bill Pelkeism (Yes, it is too a word)
Billpelkeism– Pronunciation: \0'i-zc?m\ Function: noun
Etymology: - ism
distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory 2: an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief having to do with Bill Pelke
1. The act of being Bill Pelke
2. The belief that One can stop government killings
3. The following of Bill Pelke Or Pelkieists, Commonly known as JOH contributors and workers.
4. The understanding that hard work and dedication can stop executions .
5. The realization that one cannot keep up with other abolitionists when drinking in a local pub.
In recent years I have had the biblical expertise and knowledge of Bill Pelke, on my side, just a phone call away. We have had many discussions about the Death
Penalty aspects of the bible which led me to study it diligently.
Now days when A Jehovah’s witness comes to my door,things are different.
"Come on in. Would you like some coffee? I want to talk to you about the death penalty. Just where in the hell do you get off telling people that God says it is
OK to kill people. Sit your asses down in those chairs, shut up and don’t interrupt me. Get comfortable cause this is going to take a while."
Anyway, I got to know Bill. I can honestly say that my life has become more complete because of knowing him. The whole abolitionist movement has benefited from his
diligent and dedicated work. On the Journey, in Texas, this year I watched as Bill took on this Destined for Failure (There had been some problems before the
Journey even began) undertaking and through his leadership, brought it to success. I watched in admiration as he worked day and night skipping many meals. Even at night as we slept, he worked.
Bill has worked throughout the U.S and even Europe to end government killing. Just think of all the people Bill has reached out to and how many lives are saved
because of him, his relentless pursuit of our cause, at great personal and financial hardship. Look at the impact the Journey of Hope has put in the Death
Keep on keeping on. We all love you Brother.
All it takes for evil to prevail --is for good men to
do nothing. Edmund Burke