Dan Rutt currently lives in Toledo, Ohio, USA, Planet Earth (at least most of the time). Born as a child of the 60's, I had my humble beginnings in Grand Riviere du Nord, Haiti, where my parents served as medical missionaries with the Mennonite Central Committee. My parents came as spiritual heirs to Menno Simmons, the founder of the Mennonite church (a historic peace church). A dozen generations ago, my ancestors fled religious persecution and military conscription in Germany to settle in America. While I have been raised as a United Methodist, my Mennonite roots seem to have taken in regards to peacemaking.
During my days at Hope College (Holland, MI), I founded a peace group, "Hope for Peace," concurrently with my declining (some say 'refusing') to register for the draft (remember Afghanistan?). To make a long story shorter, when President Reagan broke his campaign promise to end draft registration, I was identified in the Detroit News as a non-registrant. Being the only publicly identified non-registrant in Michigan, I garnered much media attention. Eventually, the Reagan 'get the government of your back’ regime and his Attorney General, Edwin ‘people are only hungry by choice’ Meese III, saw that out of millions of non-registrants I was number 13 (of less than two dozen) to be prosecuted. In the end, six years later, after heroically losing half a dozen pre-trial motions (with the help of a team of legal experts), my older brother dying, graduating from college, getting married, having a son, graduating from graduate school, and getting a job, I defended myself before a jury of my peers (though they were not subject to the law I was defending myself from). I lost. But what did I win? (beside three months room and board at taxpayers’ expense) I learned to live in good conscience. I learned to refine my own beliefs, even amidst great public scrutiny. I learned about civil disobedience, or as A. J. Muste, a great American pacifist and fellow Hope College alumnus said, “holy obedience” (In my write mind I say, “wholly obedience”). I learned that the U.S. government has the absolute authority to draft any citizen regardless of conscientious objection. Any exception to this is only due to “legislative grace.” I learned to live by God’s grace even when it exceeds the grace of my government. Ironically, as a federal felon, I have been officially disarmed by the federal government (i.e., not allowed to possess firearms, explosives, box cutters, etc.), allowing me to provide selective service as one of the few U.S. government approved pacifists. And, I have been working for peace and justice ever since...
Some have claimed that I am the most serious person they have ever met. Others have claimed that I am incapable of being serious. Both have been correct. I believe that there are only two mistakes that you can make in life: 1) taking life too seriously, and 2) not taking life seriously enough. In this vein (it's a work of heart), I seek to make light of war (because its dark is worse than its light).
I am inspired by the song Guantanamera, particularly by the phrase, "With the poor people of this earth, I want to share my lot." Ultimately, I believe that we all share one fate; but until then I'll take the preferential option for the poor.
I worked in public health until
2004, when I quit my government job, and joined the ranks of the uninsured, in order too due Top Pun.com full time. I am involved in a variety of peace and justice activities. I began making buttons and jotting down slogans
in 1995, and it looks like this hobby has gotten a little out of control (just the way I like it).
Please enjoy my web sight, and remember: the pun is mightier than the sword, and justice is no yoke!
View Pictures of Top Pun in action
For more complete biographical information, please request my FBI file through the Freedom of Information Act.
Dan Rutt, alias
Soul Proprietor, TopPun.com
Beloved child of God #7045372005