[saymaListserv] Jacksonville (FL) Friends Meeting: Letter to the Editor re September 11th

Michael Austin Shell bright_crow at mindspring.com
Thu Nov 22 11:42:06 JEST 2001


Here is the final version of the letter to the editor which Jacksonville
Friends Meeting will be sending to our local paper, the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION.

Share it as you see fit.  I apologize for any cross-postings.

Blessed Be,

November 21, 2001

Dear Editor:

As we share the world's horror and grief over the killings of September
11th, we of Jacksonville Friends (Quaker) Meeting turn for guidance to the
core principle of our moral understanding: that all lives-- without
exception-- are of equal value to God.

We acknowledge the profound human longing for decisive responses to these
killings, both to right the wrongs and to restore to all of us a sense of
safety.  We understand, further, that people of good conscience may choose
violent responses to danger when they see no other options readily available.

Nevertheless, we remain convinced by history and by our own moral struggles
that such violent choices arise from our failure to search with enough
determination for nonviolent methods of preventing and resolving human
conflict.  Violent methods explicitly value some lives over others.  They
do not heal the hurt and fear and anger which leads to violence.  They do
not create safety, only the threat of more violence.

Our nation is leading military actions which will kill thousands and cause
devastation, increasing poverty, disease and starvation.  We wholly oppose
this violence.  Instead, we call for our nation and others to address the
deep and conflicted human needs which lead to international violence.

We urge our fellow citizens to ask themselves: How might we lift up and
bless these other lives as equal to our own, using all of the resources and
generosity and good will which are the better part of the American way of

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