Letter to My Congressional Representative

I wish I could be more eloquent about Quakerism, but my creative energies just now have gone into composing the following letter. Since anyone who blogs about Quakers is probably getting sniffed by the data-miners anyway, so why not share this with y'all? Anyone reading this particularly in a majority-party district should consider drafting one of your own. The House is in recess until January 31!

Perhaps more important, keep up the vigils and the protests outside the halls of power. My humble thanks to the members of SF Friends Meeting, AFSC Pacific Mountain Region, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship who have maintained a weekly vigil outside the federal office building in San Francisco since October 2001, with the message, "War is not the answer." Check out the array of photos on Flickr!

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Dear Representative ---,

Thank you for your December vote against the extension of the Patriot Act.

As a constitutent and as a member of the San Francisco Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), I am writing to express my grave concern about the recent revelations of Bush Administration practices that appear to be unconstitutional. Such activities as the NSA’s monitoring of communications by United States persons, the use of allies’ airspace to transport detainees for “extraordinary rendition,” and the Defense Department’s database tracking peaceful war protesters—which apparently included several Quaker meetings and service organizations—constitute a pattern of abuse that cries out for checks and balances from the Legislative branch.

I have no doubt that you share these concerns.

I would therefore like to request a few minutes of your time for a small group from San Francisco Friends Meeting to meet with you in your district office during the January recess. We would like to express to you personally our concerns with these practices, and to learn from you how we might best encourage the House and Senate to hold hearings and provide other needed oversight. Our nation must not allow its leaders to use war or the threat of war to scare the populace into giving up its civil rights and liberties.

I sincerely hope you will be able to meet with us, and look forward to hearing from your office.

Sincerely yours,

Chris M.

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