FCNL Update

From Left to Right: Christine Tepper, Democratic political activist; Rep. Greg Murphy; Trish Hayes, environmental activist and Professor, Me; Rev. Rod Debs, retired Unitarian Universalist pastor, peace and justice activist.

Ann Harrington, ARCWP Priest – FCNL Update:

Our team was very prepared for our conference call with Rep. Murphy’s
legislative aide for military affairs, Ray Celeste Jr., Ret. Colonel USMC.
I was inspired to do a little google search on him and he was also
Representative Walter B Jones'(deceased) aide for 8 years. His statement
about Jones in the Congressional Record leaves no doubt how he loved and
revered Jones. He told us we had 15 minutes and I could tell he meant it.
We went full steam ahead and did everything we planned except for Trish’s
story. Azita our newest member who grew up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq
war, told a most powerful story. Ray was very neutral and non-committal
about our stories and our request that Murphy look carefully at the
resolutions and come to understand that Congress is the only one the
Constitution authorizes to declare war. However he was palpably engaged
when I mentioned we had met with Jones shortly before he died-I may be
reading too much into it but I am surmising life with Murphy is challenging.
Anyway, Ray listened, took notes and promised to relay our meeting to
Murphy. He did refuse to get involved in anything to do with SJ Res 68,
(The Warpower’s Resolution) since it was not back in the House. If we had
had Shoshana’s email of last night earlier, we would have lobbied for the
House bills 5543 and 2456. No problem as part 2 to our day had us going to
Murphy’s Open House and we followed your advice and got there early and
waited in line for less than 10 minutes. Then we had a very brief time
with him. We explained we had just had a conference call with Ray in lieu
of the appointment that we had with him that was cancelled and want to meet
face to face with Murphy to have a conversation about issues that are
important to us. We met 3 of the staff and their intern. It was all very
pleasant and positive. We spoke with Murphy’s scheduler and she said to
email her for an appointment.