Office of Public Policy
100 Maryland Avenue, NE Room 530
Washington, DC 20002
Note: Click here to veiw this action alert in PDF format
As members of Congress return to Washington this week the mood stands in stark contrast Christmas’ message of peace and goodwill. House and Senate negotiators are offering the American people: $42 billion in budget cuts and a $453 billion defense spending package; drilling in the Artic, reductions in student loans and more cuts in welfare benefits. In addition, there are roving wiretaps, and maybe enough strong-armed persuasion to extend the Patriot Act. Where is the “gift” to those displaced by Katrina and to those waiting for both houses of Congress to act, so they can rebuild their lives and move toward wholeness?
The New York Times has uncovered the National Security Agency’s practice authorizing the federal government’s Orwellian practice of “spying on its own citizens.” Some ask, “must we sacrifice our rights to privacy for the ‘gift’ of freedom?” Moreover, on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, an “innocent victim” affected by the CIA’s policy of “extraordinary rendition,” a lawsuit has been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) . The ACLU charges former CIA director George Tenant with authorizing “kidnapping a foreign national for the purpose of detaining and interrogating him outside the law. It finds the CIA “snatch[ed] Mr. El-Masri off the street…hiding him away in a secret prison, and keep[ing] him imprisoned after his innocence was established.” The lawsuit challenges us to ask if some wish to take away the “gift” of “the rule of law [as] central to our identity as a nation?”
The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams recently observed, “Christmas reminds us of one thing we know for sure . . .God doesn’t wave a magic wand, or descend briefly from the sky to clean things up. He arrives on earth as a human being who will change things simply by the completeness of his love. New things become possible for us, new levels of loving response and involvement ... Faith is restored and strengthened not by talking but by witness in action.
In this New Year, be God’s watchman on the city wall. Let Congress and the White House hear from you. Act to preserve Freedom, act to guard Truth. Act out of love for those who suffer injustice in this New Year.
Call the White House at (202) 456-1414 and the U.S. Congress at (202) 224-3121.
Tell the President and Your Representative that:
“The Gift of Liberty Endures" Protect our Constitutional rights! Feed the Hungry! Care for the Earth!
Urgent! At the end of December 2005 Congress extended the USA PATRIOT Act until February 03, 2006. The Senate and House Judiciary Committees will convene at the end of January to decide on the fate of the USA PATRIOT Act. Call the Senate and House Judiciary Committees and tell them to protect our civil liberties! Ask them to oppose the USA PATRIOT Act.
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary House Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building 2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20515
Telephone: (202) 224-5225 Telephone: (202) 225-3951
Fax: (202) 224-9102
Read the Book of Resolutions 2004, Social Principles, ¶ 162. III. The Social Community, pg. 46-56, and #253, Opposition to USA PATRIOT ACT to Violate Human Rights, pg. 642-643.
Jan 20, 2006