Overheard

“Just as we turned down our thermostats to conserve energy, we are willing to eat less in order to feed the hungry and undernourished and to prevent starvation. Though we cannot feed the whole world, what we do will make a difference.” –From a “Petition Concerning World Hunger,” May-June 1974 Memo

“It is a strange morality for the U.S. government to give billions of dollars to keep the war going but then cut off all assistance, including humanitarian assistance, when peace comes.” –MCC’s Director for Asia, Bob Miller, testifying before a House subcommittee, Sept.-Oct. 1975 Memo

“It seems that U.S. policy has most often addressed only the ‘crossing of the border’ into the U.S. Our international relationships have not usually been addressed from the point of view of affecting the flow of refugees to or from a country. And we have little tolerance for those in our country who do not quickly ‘assimilate.’” –Betsy Beyler, March-April 1979 Memo

“As people become increasingly frustrated at a world turning out different than they hoped and expected, there is a strong temptation to look for scapegoats and give credence and allegiance to simple answers put forth with authoritarian certainty. Racial and ethnic prejudices and economic jealousies influence the process. In such a world it becomes urgent for the political process to devise just means of allocating resources, protecting the weak and preserving God’s creation.” –Edgar Metzler, Nov.-Dec. 1980 Memo

“Too readily, the church allows itself to be co-opted and seduced by the rulers and authorities. Ours, however, is not to assume the posture of passivity when the principalities and powers have succumbed to the ways of monstrous evils, violence and corruption. Rather ‘it is through the church that the manifold wisdom of God is to be made known to the rulers and authorities’ (Ephesians 3:10).” –Delton Franz, May-June 1987 Memo

 “The failure to pursue habits and policies which promote the common good undermine the very future of our country.” –Jalane Schmidt, July-Aug. 1993 Memo

“Mr. President, the decision you make today or tomorrow about war with Iraq will likely determine the legacy of your presidency–for better or for worse….The question is not whether the United States can ‘prevail’ on the battlefield in Iraq. The more important question is what kind of world will there be a year from now and five years from now as a result of war? Will Iraq and the Middle East be more stable? Will U.S. residents feel safer?” –J. Daryl Byler, writing to President Bush on the last day of his 40-day fast in 2003

“The ten-year assault weapons ban expired at midnight on Sept. 13, 2004. Ironically, seeds for a new era of violence in the United States may have been planted by the inaction of a Congress and president who are preoccupied with concerns for homeland security.” –David Whettstone, Nov.-Dec. 2004 Memo