Subject: Rice for peace

This is such a sweet, simple idea! Even my daughter, who never misses a chance to tell me she isn't interested in politics, seized on it right away. You can leave out the biblical citation, of course. But I like the idea of quoting the New Testament against war to our born-again Pres. My cousin in Boone, North Carolina, tells me people are actually sending the rice.


Resistance with a history of success

--from the Mennonite community

Place 1/2 c. uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-sized bag or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written: " 'If your enemies are hungry, feed them.' Romans 12:20 Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them."

Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or small padded mailing envelope - both are the same cost to mail) and address them to:

President George Bush
White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attach $1.06 in postage. (Three 37 cent stamps equal $1.11)

Drop this in the mail TODAY. It is important to act NOW so that President Bush gets the letters asap. In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to the White House. We can do this if we all forward this message to our friends and family. If every Mennonite and every Church of the Brethren household sent one of these, and the tens of thousands of persons from outside these churches who think war is a mistake also send them...we are hundreds of thousands of people! There is a positive history of this protest! Read on!

"In the mid 1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a "Feed Thine Enemy" campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly no rice was ever sent to China. "What nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider US options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing active interest in having the US feed the Chinese, he certainly wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them."

From: People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory by David H. Albert, p. 43, New Society, 19.

Thank you all for being people of hope, people of faith.