A DAYTON PEACE MUSEUM WITHOUT AN ANTI-WAR STANCE is just a museum… | December 29, 2007

The January newsletter of the Dayton Peace Museum is out, and from reading it you would never know that there are wars going on in the Middle East that have claimed thousands upon thousands of Iraqi, Afghani and American lives, and crippling, maiming and orphaning even larger numbers.

I’ve struggled with trying to understand this non-perspective ever since first touring the “Peacemobile”, when it was set up at the Webster Street Farmers Market before the actual Museum opened. Nothing about the Iraq war. Not even a US Out of Iraq bumper sticker. The museum, as constituted, is the same way. Nothing on the war’s of Today.

Now we have Newsletter from a Peace Museum promoting peace education events that makes no mention one of todays biggest threats to world peace, the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Clearly there are well meaning people who support and operate the Peace Museum,  and, that is appreciated. On the other hand, to willfully refuse to make opposition to current wars a significant focus of a Peace Museum agenda is to ignore the central, most fundamental reason for such a Museum’s existence: it divorces history from reality. A Peace Museum that does not actively oppose the wars of today is, unfortunately, just a museum…
The January 2008 Peace Museum Newsletter is available at the web site and following web address:


  1. Thank you. I have had a problem with that for awhile now. Kinda like an opposition party that doesn’t oppose.

    Comment by scurrvydog — December 30, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  2. The Dayton Peace Museum is more of an educational institution than an advocacy institution. Indeed, as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that must expect to enjoy special scrutiny by our military-industrial-government complex, it must be very careful *not* to be an advocacy institution. Under our system as you well know, only institutions that *pay taxes* are allowed to buy legislators. The Peace Museum has numerous educational programs and a very active program in the area schools. You should support it at the same time that you use your privileged .com status to attempt to influence legislators and voters.

    Comment by loritzd — January 11, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

  3. 501(c)3 corporations are exempt from paying income tax. In return for this exemption status, a 501(c)3 corporation may not take part in election campaigns in an attempt to cause one candidate to be elected in preference over another. 501(c)3 corporations
    are also prohibited from providing any monetary or material benefit to the principle or principles running the organization. These restrictions are for the entire life of the organization.

    Numerous organizations with 501[c]3 designations have not had a problem with straightforward advocacy programs, among which most notably Is the American Friends Service Committee, which has been in existence for over 50 years. A 501[c] 3 designation does not prevent organizations from being “advocates”.

    I reiterate my point…failure to oppose CURRENT WARS mocks the premise of a “Peace Museum”, which should be to ADVOCATE for PEACE. I, [and many others with whom I have had discussions about this] do support the concept of the Museum….it just appears disingenuous that such an institution would not address the realities of today which make the need for such a Museum necessary in the first place.

    This is a Left, not a Liberal position.

    Comment by leftofdayton — January 11, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

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