WEST CUMMINGTON CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
P.O. Box 148, Cummington MA 01026
Stephen Philbrick, Minister
President Barack Obama January 2013
The People’s House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on your re-election. Congratulations on being freed from campaigns and raising money. Now you can see a future broader than the next election. You are your own man, but you were and are also our man.
We believe that you could be the one to break the silence in our political conversation about war and peace or, more bluntly: who we kill and how we kill. We kill covertly, without daring to bring our purposes or methods to light. The decision to go to war is neither voted on nor declared by the elected representatives of the people. This silence echoes even louder in our political discourse. The innocent die; politicians don’t want to talk about it. The poor and the planet itself are exploited and expendable. Justice is a rumor or a dream.
And people of faith? Can we ignore the violence and pretend to cultivate our own souls? Can we hide from our country’s actions? How can we speak our truth to Power?
Well, you are a person of faith and a man of power. You have personal experience of transformation.
We are asking you to do something so big and so dangerous that Presidents rarely try.
We are asking you to reach out, personally, individually, person-to-person, heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind, to your fellow rulers and Commanders-in-Chief. This would entail acting on your own, without the Pentagon, the Congress, the national security apparatus. Presidents, Ayatollahs and Prime Ministers are all human at heart with a spark of the divine. We are asking you to ask them to heal this broken world; to make their nation safer and stronger by making all nations safer. We are asking you to make peace with them and let the diplomacy follow.
Why would you take the risk? Because you and other leaders have abilities and consciences that are encumbered by administrations, armies and bureaucracies — and the world needs your best, now. Because this is the chance to do something enormous for your children and the rest of the world’s children. This is the chance to study peace, not war.
Not Peace through superiority in arms. That isn’t peace, but intimidation and fear.
Not Peace by “winning” wars.
Peace, because we cannot afford the illusions of “enemy” or “victory.”
Peace for the sake of life.
We are asking you to answer the call of everyone’s God and the good of all people. We would not dare to ask so much if we did not think so much of you.
Blessings and peace from the West Cummington Church.