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This letter was published in the Newark Star Ledger on January 25th, 2003

Open Letter to the President

President Bush,

You have publicly professed your Christianity and the power of God in your life. But with regard to planning a war with Iraq are you working for or against the teachings of the Prince of Peace?

Jesus taught his disciples saying: "If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the other also." But you are saying that Saddam Hussein might possibly "slap" at the United States, so we must cripple or kill him first.

Jesus taught his disciples saying: "Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors; only so can you be children of your heavenly Father." But you are vilifying your enemies and using your position to whip-up hatred toward those whom you and your administration deem to be a threat.

You might say that Jesus said to his disciples "anyone who does not own a sword should sell his cloak and buy one," and by this we are right to arm ourselves and use our armaments against our enemies. But when the time came in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus rebuked his follower who drew a sword and said: "Put up your sword. All who take the sword die by the sword."

The government might reasonably claim that a primary duty is to protect its citizens. But preemptive action against a nation that we have kept contained for the past eleven years is not reasonable.

Since 1660 when Quakers declared our Testimony of Peace to King Charles II, we have testified that the teachings of Jesus are the teachings of peace. The Spirit of Christ will not move us away from war in one case and toward war in another.

You are wrong to pursue the course toward war that you have been following. Your words and actions cannot be reconciled with those of God whom you profess to follow. We pray the Spirit of Christ enter your heart and turn you to the path of peace and to a life that will take away the occasion of all wars.

With prayers for peace,
Rahway & Plainfield Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
225 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060
(908)757-5736

This letter is endorsed by the following individuals (Quakers & others):

Joel D Cook Rae Gabrielle de la Cretaz
Charley B Flint
Robert S Pritchett
Doris de la Cretaz
Jeff Hitchcock
Liesel Dreisbach-Williams
Keith F Voos
Matthew Hitchcock
Roger Dreisbach-Williams
Peter R Day
Nathaniel Hitchcock
Stephen C Gable
Rona Keilin
Mary H Coe
Barbara H Andrews

Dorothy P Morris

Fred J Malchow
Louis P Andrews

Robert A Hillenbrand

Martin Power
Joseph Maso
Robert N Lane
Lillian M Marshall
Doreen A Maso
Joan A Lane
Elmer A Talcott
Alex Ridgway
Mary Ann Allard
Erika Beer-Gerhard
Claudia Osborn
Eilean Bradley
Mary Grace Larsen
Peter Osborn
Norma Heller
Elizabeth McDiarmid
Elizabeth G Edwards
Sherry P Holland
Gerald P Murphy
Bonnie J Ruggiero
Lois Canright
Theodore Day
Barbara G McLaughlan
Patricia Burke
Patricia Clark Kenshaft
Norma A Elliott
Richard Brewer
Mary Ann Reilly
William Elliott
Joyce E Marshall

Cheryl Doehler

Carol B Coulthurst
David Korfhage

Feel free to clip this ad and mail it to: President Bush, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500

Paid for by: Rahway & Plainfield Monthly Meeting Religious Society of Friends, 225 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield NJ 07060