Independent researchers estimate that 100 people are killed daily with guns in the U.S. – and many more are injured. Guns are the second leading cause of death for all children and teens; it is the first for Black children and teens. On average, 52 women are shot to death each
month by an intimate partner.
With the Trump Administration taking threatening steps toward Iran and Venezuela, and U.S. forces involved in dozens of conflicts around the world, it is clearer than ever that Congress must act to take back its constitutional authority over war. This authority is guaranteed in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, but for too long, Congress has ceded this power to the executive branch.
As House and Senate negotiators were reportedly nearing a deal on the farm bill, some 400 Quakers and friends lobbied hard to ensure that the final bill includes strong protections for SNAP (food stamps). They were in Washington, DC, for FCNL’s Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute, Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 2018.
Despite the saber-rattling and threats of war, the House of Representatives this summer quietly and overwhelmingly voted to bolster U.S. government efforts to prevent violent conflicts that cause atrocities and genocide. It passed the Eli Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act (H.R. 3030). A similar bill awaits final passage in the Senate (S. 1158).
With the United States pulling out of the Paris Agreement, discussions in Congress have increased on the need for tools to mitigate the effects of climate change. Pricing carbon emissions is one such tool but it has long been politically controversial.
Extending care and concern only to “true Americans” normalizes violence, degradation, and the violation of basic human rights. Our elected leaders need to hear—loudly, repeatedly, and insistently—that we are not in unity with laws and policies that deny the humanity and rights of immigrants.
Diplomacy doesn’t require admiration or even trust between the parties. It does require an orientation toward continuing conversation and a willingness to listen to other perspectives. It is, in its way, a spiritual discipline of endeavoring to speak to the Divine that lives in each of us.