Commendation Letter to Representative Barbara Lee, 10/1/2001

Patapsco Friends Meeting
Mt. Hebron House, 2331 Calvin Circle, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Walk gently over the earth answering that of God in everyone.

1 October 2001

The Honorable Barbara Lee
426 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0509

Dear Representative Lee:

As members of the Patapsco Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Howard County, Maryland we are writing to express our support and admiration for your courageous vote of conscience against ceding numerous unprecedented powers to President George Bush for his “War on Terrorism.” It is not easy to take a stand against popular opinion, as Quakers well know.

Friends have a long commitment to peace making, dating back to 17th century England. Members of our religious society hold the belief that there is “that of God” in every person. In keeping with that core value we work to “remove the occasion of all wars.” Friends have refused to fight in all of America’s wars including the Revolutionary War. Some members of the Society of Friends have suffered imprisonment and harrassment for refusing to participate in war making.

In recognition of your courage and willingness to place yourself in the line of fire to uphold our Constitutional rights we offer our highest commendation. In times of violence and uncertainty enthusiasm for quick solutions is high, however, Quakers support wholeheartedly the system of checks and balances in our democratic system of government that ensures public participation in decision making. Decisions that involve the use of violence against peoples of other nations surely merit a stronger adherence to the rule of law than any other. Your vote against the use of military force is a candle in these dark times and a beacon for those who are committed to finding peaceful and lawful strategies for responding to violence and threats against our nation. With our whole hearts we say “thank you.”

Respectfully,

Sherri Morgan, Clerk

cc: Representative Roscoe Bartlett
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Paul Sarbanes

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