~ from MDC Brooklyn, by Sr. Megan Rice, with Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli

September 7, 2014

Megan Rice 88101-020

MDC Brooklyn

Metropolitan Detention Center

P.O. Box 329002

Brooklyn, NY 11232


Dear Sisters and Brothers, friends in solidarity to transform new global policies in favor of life-enhancing alternatives to death dealing weapons and wars- by sustaining peaceful negotiations:

Your outpouring of affection and concern in letters and action, and your focus on the elimination of nuclear weapons by August, 2015 (70 years after that first bomb), in response to that letter from a Brooklyn Jail of July 28, 2014, have all been overwhelming! So we begin by giving thanks: thanks to Greg and Michael for their shaping of the action and the content of the letter; to Anabel Dwyer, Pat McSweeney, Ralph Hutchinson, yes and to Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa in Tucson for the collaborative layers of editing which produced it. (They signed it from me, but I surely cannot take lone credit for that letter!)

And thanks to you, each and all, for responding with unmerited acclamation for any one of us. Clearly, we have collectively said it all, much of what we each would want to say, yet still minus the wisdom of many more. Surely the policy-makers who will work on the transformation of that nuclear industrial complex know on whom they can count for plenty of wise, creative ideas and willingness to get involved, to implement that transformation, with further research and employment making new opportunities for all. As the lad in Japan said, “If people made the bombs, they can surely unmake them,” to which we can only add, “and make for us what our planet really needs!”

Some may have seen the book review by Nicholas Kristof in the N.Y. Times. I wish to comment and to dispel a possible myth that it may create. No true Plowshares act of resistance can contain the concept of “masterminding”. By nature of being true resistance in nonviolence, Plowshares actions strive to be the result of genuine, communal discernment, and this, if faith-inspired, involves collaborative research, planning, enactment and follow up, in which we each are now involved. Ellen Barfield’s July 28th essay clearly alludes to these essential characteristics. So, there can be no “mastermind”.

If one reads one of the oral histories, like The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, Gen. Leslie Groves’ memories recounted in 1983 under the title Now It Can Be Told, or also Mary Palevsky’s 1999 Atomic Fragments: A Daughter’s Questions, we would see stories opposite to this kind of community discernment: the practice of an all-pervading secrecy. We might even say, the flourishing of some form of “master-mindedness” in the raw. And 70 years of living in a state of denial of truth, as well as a state of planetary peril, creating constantly its own destruction.

In closing, may I add news of inspiring new hope! The Vatican ban (for close to 35 years) upon honoring Msgr. Oscar Romero of El Salvador, has finally been lifted by Francis of Rome. Both political and ecclesiastical forces of “the extreme right” (BBC) had attempted to suppress Msgr. Romero’s message. A prophetic voice on behalf of the voiceless poor, rendered so by the U.S.’s unrestrained efforts at controlling dissent, Romero spoke as the author in Deuteronomy 32: “They are a nation devoid of senses; there is no understanding in them.” May we give away our shared creativity, and become poor that others be enriched.

All will be well.

Affectionately, and in peace, Greg, Michael, and Megan