[Last update: 15 November 2001]

An epistle to Friends everywhere

Friends Committee on National Legislation
November 15, 2001 The following epistle was approved by FCNL's General Committee during their Annual Meeting, held November 8-11 in Washington , DC. The epistle can also be found on FCNL's web site at http://www.fcnl.org/issues/afghanistan/terrorism/ann-mtg_epistle.htm. We invite you to share it with F/friends.

From the General Committee of the Friends Committee on National Legislation To Friends Everywhere:

November 11, 2001

We meet together in our nation's capital just two months after the airplane hijackings and subsequent destruction on September 11, 2001. We join with others across this country and around the world in seeking strong and relevant responses to these criminal acts.

We grieve with those who lost loved ones at the Pentagon, at the World Trade Center, and in the aircraft that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. And in our grief, we feel a new empathy with those who have lost loved ones in the terror and violence in the Middle East, in Northern Ireland, in the African Great Lakes region, in Central America, in southeast Asia, in the Balkans, and in places all over the world. We grieve also for the new casualties who are being added daily in Afghanistan.

We are witness to the bewilderment and new-found vulnerability of many in our country who have been isolated from the world's realities and wonder why the United States is hated by so many in the world. We believe that true justice addresses all nations and individuals, including our own behavior as a nation and a people.

In our lives and daily work we feel deeply connected with our country, with all its foibles, its remarkable accomplishments, and its amazing potential. We seek a similar connection with our brothers and sisters in every nation of the world. The daily suffering that some of them experience due to hunger, injustice, and terror renews our commitment to a right sharing of the world's resources, to the nonviolent resolution of conflicts, and to the full participation of all people in decisions affecting their welfare.

We oppose war. War is the ultimate rejection of God's creation. We have living experience of the transforming power of nonviolent response to evil. We support alternative actions that our government, with the international community, can take to respond to the attacks and to prevent further violence. We believe that the sources of the violence that hurts us all can be exposed and transformed through creative, courageous, and unexpected acts that restore justice, heal human relationships, and untangle the deep roots of this conflict.

We stand in a different place than we did before September 11, with our hearts torn and our eyes opened in new ways to the realities of the world. Yet we stand in the same place we have for hundreds of years, seeking peace and justice through peaceful means as God would have it for us all.

On behalf of the FCNL General Committee,

Jon Fisch, Clerk

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