Day used spiritual tools--prayer, fasting, and education--to reassert what she believed was the early church's pacifist ethic. Although the bishops fell short of condemning the possession of nuclear weapons and continued to rely on "just war" theology over absolute pacifism, they did uphold the right of conscientious objection and endorsed economic and social justice throughout the world.
Catholic Worker stands on economic justice, social equality, the rights of political prisoners, and peace seemed similar to the positions of the Left. Admirers of the movement, such as the Communist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who bequeathed her modest estate to the movement, and Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman, who viewed Day as the first hippie, understood the utter authenticity of Day's radicalism. Unlike these sympathetic radicals, Day insisted on an explicit spiritual grounding for the movement, an appreciation of the Catholic heritage. When a few young Catholic Workers of the early 1960s whose beer blasts, free sexuality, and uninhibited expression (they printed the magazine Fuck You! on the Catholic Worker's press) displayed their preference for a bohemian lifestyle over service to the poor, Day demanded that they leave, an incident known humorously as the "Dorothy Day Stomp."
Both a traditional Catholic and a dedicated lifelong radical, Day possessed a genius for synthesis. Without compromising her social radicalism, she joined the Catholic Church. By fortifying herself with a spiritual shield, Day built a nonviolent revolution from daily service to the poor and agitation for change. Dedicated to building a new heaven on earth, she understood that the poor "are not put in our way to be judged, only that we may purchase heaven from them." Love, prayer, and works of mercy were for Day the "holy force" leading to revolution and salvation. 13