20 Years of Endless War: Special Silent Reflection

The pandemic resulted in many people, including Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) staff, remaining home. So, FCNL invited people to attend weekly Quaker meetings for worship via Zoom, called Witness Wednesday Silent Reflection. There are a number of regular attenders, who often speak of how meaningful these meetings have been in these times. This Wednesday there will be a special silent reflection on 20 years of endless war, that anyone is welcome to attend. We will reflect on affirming our fervent hope that endless war will be no more. Signup to receive the Zoom link here:

20 Years of Endless War: Special Silent Reflection
District of Columbia
Wednesday, September 8, 5:15 PM Eastern

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the unfolding humanitarian crisis and violence in Afghanistan today, join General Secretary Diane Randall for a time of reflection.

Take a moment to reflect in keeping with the Quaker practice of silent worship. Join us virtually on Zoom or by phone in affirming our fervent hope that endless war will be no more.

War has never been the answer to the world’s most pressing problems—including terrorism. Military solutions and large-scale violence cannot lead to sustainable peace. Instead, they only make the problem worse by spawning new terrorist groups and setting off cycles of retribution.

Only through the careful, patient work of peacebuilding with local human rights and civil society leaders which includes women, and through diplomacy by regional and international stakeholders can we reach just and durable solutions to the root causes of violence.

As we grieve these deaths and the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, we hold the people of Afghanistan in the Light in the days and months ahead.  We affirm our opposition to war and violence and to the ensuing destruction and chaos.

Today, it is our fervent hope that endless war will be no more.

Two Decades of War by Diane Randall, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation, September 1, 2021

War is not the Answer
Midcoast Friends Meeting with WINA sign

It was post-9/11, and Friends in Atlanta Friends Meeting wanted to publicly witness against war. Friends listened to their hearts’ stirrings during business meeting, and “War is Not the Answer” became the Meeting’s new yard sign.

These words were taken from Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, delivered April 4, 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York.

War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.

Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

The message – War is Not the Answer – and the signs went viral. FCNL and Friends saw the potency and popularity of the message grew and spread, and the rest is history. With the increasing prospect for an endless war with Iran, War is Not the Answer, has become more relevant.

Friends and other people of faith act when they see broken systems. As we stand on the precipice of another war, Friends are mobilizing across the country to demand Congress halt the spiral into all-out war.

FCNL has distributed more than 2,000,000 “War is Not the Answer” bumper stickers and yard signs since 2002. Demands for the sign are increasing so we are making it available free online for you to download and print. If you’d like to purchase a lawn sign or bumper sticker, you can do so here.

War is Not the Answer. MLK’s Words Endure as an Anti-War Sign

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