[saymaListserv] Pacific YM on torture

Quakerkristi at aol.com Quakerkristi at aol.com
Tue Aug 15 11:04:25 JEST 2006

Dear All, 

This just in from Pacific Yearly Meeting-

John Calvi
calvij at sover.net
PO Box 301 
Putney VT 05346 USA

AUGUST 5, 2006



Thirty years ago, the Friends World Committee for Consultation stated:
Both tortured and torturer are victims of the evil from which no human being
is immune.  Friends, however, believe that the life and power of God are
greater than evil, and in that life and power declare their opposition to
all torture. The Society calls on all its members, as well as those of all
religious and other organizations, to create a force of public opinion which
will oblige those responsible to dismantle everywhere the administrative
apparatus which permits or encourages torture, and to observe effectively
those international agreements under which its use is strictly forbidden.
(FWCC, 1976)

Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends was moved by the
March 2006 Santa Monica Monthly Meeting minute that notes that łour Quaker
faith is based on the conviction that Œthere is that of God in everyone.¹ We
are therefore convinced that everyone is entitled to humane treatment and
due process of law.  We utterly oppose any form of torture and illegal
detention, whether perpetrated by our government or by any other power or

We call on our elected representatives to hold the executive branch of the
U.S. government accountable for any actions that violate the 1949 Geneva
Conventions and their 1977 Protocols, or the United Nations Convention
Against Torture, or any other treaties binding upon the United States.

Pacific Yearly Meeting, joining with Humboldt Friends, San Jose and Palo
Alto Meetings, supports the leadings of the six Humboldt Friends to travel
with a concern for the condition of all who are involved in the conflict at
the Guantanamo Bay Prison.  Fred Adler, Andrea Armin-Hoiland, Carol
Cruickshank, Margaret Kelso, Richard Ricklefs, and Karin Salzmann are called
to journey to the prison to meet with and witness to both prisoners and
prison personnel.  The concern for the well-being of both prisoners and
military personnel at Guantanamo Bay is one shared by many Friends in our
Yearly Meeting.  

Further, we ask that members, Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups
familiarize themselves with the work of the Quaker Initiative to End Torture
(www.quit-torture-now.org <http://www.quit-torture-now.org/> ), considering
both minutes of support and encouragement of participants in the next
conference in June 2007 at Guilford College, North Carolina.

As people of faith, we believe that the United States must set a high moral
and ethical standard in its treatment of its captives, whether foreign or
domestic.  As William Penn wrote: łA good end cannot sanctify evil means:
nor must we ever do evil, that good might come of it.˛
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