Don't Send Rice, Send Prayers

I've received an email from several people about sending rice to the President -"Feed thy enemies".  It sounds like a lovely project and might have been effective in the 50's but in this day and age -- little padded packages addressed to President Bush create Fear and Chaos for our postal and government workers. A friend mailed 1/4 cup of rice Friday  morning and was visited by four secret service men later that day. So YES it is important that we put our energy into  Peace -- just don't send rice -- foster the energy of love don't create fear ---- send a postcard and let the president know that you support him in finding a peaceful solution.

Dear fellow peace activitsts,
You might want to check out the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's web site for information about how to send rice to the White House:  If you're concerned about not gumming up USPS equipment, this site tells you how to mail rice harmlessly. 
This is the organization behind the rice for peace movment.  They have the Eisenhower story on their web site.  They may not know that it is untrue.
You might also want to check out again.  It was updated on Sunday.  The Eisenhower story has been debunked and explained.  The wheat for China movement did get attention, but it had nothing to do with war.
I am very doubtful of the story of someone who sent rice to the White House Friday morning and received a visit from 4 Secret Service agents "later that day" because:
  1. the Post Office is not that efficient
  2. the Secret Service is not that efficient
  3. the story is of unknown origin, about unknown people, in no particular location, and hasn't made the news (which makes it a likely urban legend)
  4. it doesn't say what these "Secret Service Men" did when they visited this woman--did they arrest her, warn her, or come in for tea? :-)
  5. it makes an emotional plea for prayers supporting the president instead of nonviolent action to make a point. 

Nevertheless, moving right along...
The Listserv for the Baptist Peace Fellowship (web site has contained some recent discussion about the rice for peace movement (including commentary from Du Page County's own Wendy Morris).  Comments were made that sending a few grains of rice is as effective for making a point as sending 1/2 cup; or sending rice may be a waste of food in a hungry world.  Acknowledging that the Eisenhower story was a hoax, one person said, "The Send Rice to Iraq action, whether it be 1/2 cup or a spoon full, with the message of feed your enemies is an appropriate response of people of faith to their warmongering government. The rice speaks peace more clearly than our words."
Trust your own judgment.  I'm just sharing some information and thoughts.


War is looking more and more imminent, however it is not a done deal yet. We can still put a stop to this insanity. Recently, there was a proposal to send packets of rice to Mr. Bush with a note saying "If your enemies are hungry, feed them (Romans 12:20)."

I would like to make a futher suggestion for rice packets. I spoke with Representative Jim Oberstar's aide in DC. Mr. Oberstar, who is our rep. from the Duluth MN area has taken a strong antiwar stand. Chip (his aide) said that sending rice packages to representatives nationwide would be a great visual aid in Congressional debates. The reps opposed to war could use the packets to show the others that their constituents remain firm in their opposition to the war in Iraq. The reps that are pro war would be forced to see their constituents position against the war.

Chip indicated that with Bush's State of the Union Address and Powell's upcoming "proof" that Iraq has WMD, the antiwar position had lost a little ground. He is welcoming of any ideas that people might have to help keep our voices against war heard and he was particularly supportive of the rice package idea.

All of our representatives will be on break between February 14 through February 24 and they should be back in their home states during that time. The suggestion would be for folks to send the rice packages to their local Congressional offices as they would not get bogged down in the surveillance of mail going into DC.

The protocol for mailing would remain the same: Place 1/2 cup uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-size 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 padded mailing envelope--both are the same cost to mail) Mailing cost is $1.06 (you can use 3, 37 cent stamps) and address them to: your local congressional office

Please forward this message to your email address list so that we can get this out nationwide.