How do we build peace amid war?
Nearly 80 years ago, a group of Friends joined together across Quaker traditions with a common interest to bring a voice for peace to Capitol Hill during World War II. Their effort was small at first, and their chance of success must have seemed even smaller. The public largely supported the war and our country’s involvement in it. Few voices in Congress challenged the idea that meeting violence with violence was the only option.
But Friends had faith.
In its early days, FCNL began lobbying Congress to protect the rights of conscientious objectors, rebuild Europe, advance civil rights at home, abolish nuclear weapons, and support the United Nations. Centuries of refusing to participate in violence and actively practicing peace had convinced Quakers, again and again, that war is never the answer.
Since then, FCNL has consistently lobbied Congress to prevent and end wars and to invest in the tools and policies we need to advance a more just and peaceful world. We have not always succeeded, but we have made important gains along the way and helped open the eyes of many decision-makers to the possibility of a world without war or the threat of war.
Now, a devastating new war in Europe is again testing our faith and our Quaker Peace Testimony. Russia’s blatant invasion of Ukraine invades our conscience and pleads for an urgent and effective response.
You can find the rest of the May/June Washington Newsletter, including the rest of this article, in the sidebar to the right.