Welcome home Sara Jane Posted on March 20th, 2009 by

The Reverend Paul Tidemann, who recently spoke at our biennial “Mom, Dad, I’m a Philosophy Major” dinner, shared with us the following remarks he wrote regarding Sara Jane Olson, who has been paroled from prison after serving a sentence for her involvement in the activities of the Symbionese Liberation Army, during the Vietnam War. Tidemann’s remarks remind us of the complexity of the moral issues at play here–and also call upon those of us in her community to welcome her home, and to acknowledge the importance of the issues for which she stood.

There is an important connection between another member of the SLA and Gustavus, as Tidemann notes in this piece; this member, who was killed during a shootout with law enforcement officers, was Camilla Hall, the daughter of longtime Gustavus religion faculty member George Hall.

As Tidemann notes, “It [the SLA] was a strange group, but it was a group of young people with a global consciousness, with a deep passion for justice for the oppressed.” The lessons we can learn from them are complicated and even contradictory. But they are no less valuable for their complexity.



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