Dear Mr. President

Ending the Global Gag Rule
January 24, 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: abortion, children, ethics, health, news, Obama, peace, politics, religion, U.S.A., United Nations, women's rights

Dear President Obama,

      All I wanted to do today was to thank you hugely and immensely for your executive order ending the ban on funds to international population support groups that mention abortion.  Bless your heart.  Finally.  My mother’s good friend Janet Roberts can now rejoice as well – she founded “34 millions friends” to try to fill that awful hole the Bush administration left in caring for women.

    I think that’s what people don’t realize.  Funding organizations like UNFPA that help women get legal and safe abortions is not about  funding abortions.  It’s about helping women around the globe have access to health care.  It means saving mothers’ lives and saving babies’ lives.  That’s what it all comes down to.   It’s pro-life, that’s what it is.

Sincerely, VNV


Take the Flag out of Christmas!
December 19, 2008, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Bush, ethics, news, peace, politics, religion, U.S.A. | Tags: , , , , , ,
Dear Mr. President,
    I just watched that repulsively cute video you and your obedient family made for the Red, White and Blue Christmas you are so patriotically celebrating at the White House.
     That video was just nonsense.  It wasn’t even funny.  Your poor daughters had to pretend to like saying things like “It’s so patriotic!”  I’d say it’s more like “pathetic”.
     I’m patriotic, myself.  I stand up for America and for what America stands for.  But I can’t stand the nonsense you are putting America up to, Sir.   Christmas is not an American holiday.  Christmas is a Christian holiday.   For the Grand Old Flag we have the Glorious 4th of July.  
      Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace.   Admittedly,  He as been misused as a Warlord often enough, but misusing the baby Jesus this way is untenable.   That little Babe in manger can’t even crawl yet, much less wave a flag.   
    So for heaven’s sake, Mr. President, put Christ back into Christmas and remove that flag!
Sincerely, VNV

Red, white and blue Christmas
December 6, 2008, 6:19 am
Filed under: Bush, children, ethics, news, peace, politics, religion, U.S.A., war | Tags: , , ,
Dear Mr. President,
    I was going to write to you about the unemployment rate and about the plight of homeowners who have lost their jobs and consequently are losing their houses.
    But then I saw your theme for this Christmas:  a red, white and blue Christmas.  And there was Saint Nick, on his sleigh, dressed in an American flag.  No. Really.  Sir.  Are you going to “flag”  the swaddling clothes too? 
     At least put Santa Claus back in simple red and white, okay?  He’s supposed to bring toys to good little children all around the world, for pity’s sake!   Do you want children thinking their gifts are from Uncle Sam?   It would be different if our gifts to the world’s children were something better than those bomblets from the cluster bombs!
 Sincerely, VNV

Mount Calvary Monastery: How to Help
November 18, 2008, 6:47 am
Filed under: Bush, finance, news, peace, politics, religion, U.S.A. | Tags: , , ,
Dear Mr. President,
   The kind comment on my last blog letter, about the destruction of the Mount Calvary Monastery asked how to help.  Here’s a suggestion from the blog of the Bishop of Los Angeles:
“Of course we stand with the members of the Order of the Holy Cross in any intention they have for the future. Checks payable to the Treasurer of the Diocese of Los Angeles and earmarked, “Montecito Fire Recovery” may be sent to Bishop Jon Bruno, 840Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028.”
That sounds like a good investment for some of that 750 billion that was to help, among other things, the housing crisis. 
And here’s a video of what’s left after the fire:  .     
The Monastery clearly will rise from the ashes, since a monastery is more than buildings, don’t you think?
Greetings,  VNV

Mount Calvary Monastery
November 16, 2008, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Bush, ethics, news, peace, politics, religion, war | Tags: , , ,

Dear Mr. President,

     The beautiful monastery Mount Calvary near Santa Barbara has been destroyed in the wild fire.  Mount Calvery is an Episcopalian retreat.  My beloved sister and her husband have found peace there.  Once when I was home, she took me to the monastery and showed me a little. It was a place for feeling God’s love.

     I know the past cannot be recreated.  I know it should be a comfort that only buildings were destroyed.  Here on earth have we no abiding place – and yet this came as close to one as makes no difference.  The sorrow my sister feels helps me to understand better the sorrow people have always  felt in wars, when their abiding places were destroyed.

     These fires in my home state have caused such devastation that I hesitate to instrumentalize them into political statements.  But should we continue to inflict similar devastation on other people through our wars?

Sincerely, VNV

Father’s Day
June 16, 2008, 4:42 am
Filed under: Bush, children, death, ethics, Iraq, news, peace, politics, religion, war | Tags: , ,
Dear Mr. President,
     It is said that you are concerned about your legacy – and so should you be, especially on Father’s Day.   Do you know the poem “How Big was Alexander?”  by Elijah Jones?  (It’s in that marvelous collection “The Best-Loved Poems of the American People”).  In it, a little boy asks his father why Alexander is called “The Great”.  It’s too long to quote here in its entirety.  Besides, you might be bored.  But the end is tellling:
“Father.  You know, my child, the Bible says
                That you must always do
            To other people as you wish
                To have them do to you.
Son.       But, Pa, did Alexander wish
                 That some strong man would come
             And burn his house and kill him too,
                 And do as he had done?
             Did everybody call him great,
                 For killing people so?
             Well, now, what right had he to kill,
                 I should be glad to know.
              If one should burn the buildings here,
                 And kill the folks within,
              Would anybody call him great
                  For such a wicked thing?”
I would hope you had a happy Father’s Day, if I did not hope more that you were plagued by doubts about the legacy you are leaving all those Iraqi orphans you have created.
Sincerely, VNV

Grandpa George
May 12, 2008, 7:19 pm
Filed under: Bush, ethics, Iraq, news, peace, politics, religion, war | Tags: , , ,

Dear Mr. President,

     I scarcely know what to write to you these days.  You appear in the news only in conjunction with things like Jenna’s wedding.  Here’s the letter I wrote you for Mother’s Day:
     “This is just to congratulate you and your family on such a wonderful
wedding.  You all did a great job of keeping private matters private.  I’m
sure it was an occasion to be remembered.  My hopes and prayers are with
Jenna and her husband.
    My hopes and prayers are also with those whose sorrow is greater than
their joy on this Mother’s Day.  You put it well in your short comments –
that your prayers are with those who lost their lives.  We know just what
you mean.”

The problem is, you seem to have mutated from “axis of evil” – doer to Grandpa in the making.  It’s hard to believe anything iniquitous about a Father of the Bride like you:   bumbling, incompetent, but withal loveable.  And yet, you are still the same George W. Bush who has condoned torture, who has curtailed our Constitutional rights, who has undermined the separation of church and state, and who by illegally invading another country, has caused countless deaths and untold misery. 

What can I say?  I just hope you restrict yourself to the gentle old Grandpa George role for the rest of your term.  Otherwise, you alas still have the power to inflict unimaginable harm.

Sincerely, VNV