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Strenghting the Peace Movement


Weak Peace Movement 4/2/10

“The peace movement in this country is very weak. People are being killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Colombia. We Christians are saying very little,” shared Art Gish when he spoke here at Reba Place Mennonite church.

And so, I am writing asking you to make it stronger by letting your government representatives know your concern. And here is how you can do it with just two or three minutes of your time. Try to do it every week.

With one click of the computer, you can let all your government representatives know that you disagree with pouring our tax dollars into war or any other concern. This funding is not bringing peace and security but ruining the lives of soldiers and civilians on all sides. To speak out, just go to the Friends Committee on National Legislation Web site: www.fcnl.org and click on “Action Center.” You can than compose your own letter or use their suggested wording and send it to your Senators, Congressperson, and President Obama with one click.

Democracy works if we use it! About two years ago, the United States was giving 1.5 million dollars a day in military aid to Colombia. People prayed and let their representatives know that they opposed this aid. Due to this pressure, it was reduced to one million dollars a day. This has reduced the amount of deaths and suffering in Colombia tremendously.

An agency working on effective government has found that when our letter includes something local it is given more attention and thus more effective. We can do this by relating the 32 billion the Pentagon recently requested for Afghanistan to the lack of money for good roads, teachers, libraries, public transportation or to what is lacking in your community.

I sense there is a spirit of hopelessness that is paralyzing us who believe in peace and justice from praying for and letting our government representatives know that we do not support putting our dollars for these wars. Consider taking a few minutes weekly to pray and let your government representatives know your concerns for peace and justice. Remember to pray—it makes all our efforts more effective. God is listening to every prayer, including our very feeble ones. Pray for your enemies too.

Things are getting better. Today our homicide rate is 1/50th to 1/20th of what it was 600 years ago. Children adducted into the Lords Resistance army in Uganda were forced to kill and maim their parents as a way to keep them from returning to their villages. Their parents are now wooing them on radio and newspapers to come home and work on reconciliation. The children are coming back in droves of 300 to 900 at a time. They are getting tired of war as we all are. There is hope.*
*Reference: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/revenge-forgiveness/

Prayers:
-My preparations for setting up interviews and visits to Mennonite Brethren in Colombia. 4/20-6/15
- My two sharings at the Cornerstone Festival 6/30
- For a pleasant surprise try praying for your enemies

Thanks and peace and joy to you, Jim

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