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John Nichols: A call to #LOVE THY NEIGHBOR (No Exceptions)

John Nichols: A call to #LOVE THY NEIGHBOR (No Exceptions)

#LoveThyNeighbor

The Friends Committee on National Legislation has a long history of speaking truth to power, and it continues to do so with what may well be the savviest and strongest response to all the threats posed by Donald Trump’s presidency. The lobbying and campaigning group, which was founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers), asks Americans to embrace a simple message (with badges, bumper stickers and banners): #LoveThyNeighbor (No Exceptions!)

There’s a lot of serious thinking behind this campaign, as there always is with FCNL. The #LoveThyNeighbor campaign is a conscious effort to “shift the narrative.” It challenges policymakers and voters to think about the moral implications of the actions they are taking on questions of war and peace, inequality and intolerance — at home and abroad. Ultimately, it seeks to bring people of different parties and different ideologies together to work for peace, economic and social justice, and environmental sustainability.

The depth of knowledge and insight regarding domestic issues and the wisdom that characterizes the FCNL approach to international affairs (with its “Fund Diplomacy, Not War” focus on demilitarization, peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions) will be on display Feb. 26 at the Madison Friends Meetinghouse, 1704 Roberts Court. Riley Robinson, an FCNL staffer, will deliver a 9:45 a.m. talk on FCNL’s work and engage in a 2 p.m. public conversation about “Hope and Effective Action on Capitol Hill.”

In a chaotic time, when many of us are wrestling with the question of how best to influence our neighbors, our communities and our Congress, FCNL offers a moral vision and smart strategies for achieving it.

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. jnichols@madison.com and @NicholsUprising

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