Praising a Public Witness

July 13, 2013

The American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to praise U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, as "a champion of peace." Their letter to her also proclaimed:

The Board of Directors of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies set aside time [at its June meeting] to consecrate your public witness and pray for your strength as you live out the courage of your commitments. We realize how seriously you take Jesus' charge to each of us to be ambassadors for peace and the price you have paid in being a champion for it. We know that you have often been a solo and solitary voice for peace in the halls of Congress.
The praise for Lee's "public witness" comes in large part due to her legislative efforts to try to repeal the military powers and authorities given to U.S. presidents after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Lee, an American Baptist, has clearly been "a solo and solitary voice for peace in the halls of Congress" as the only member of either house to vote against the bill that she is attempting to repeal. Now, she has a couple of dozen co-sponsors, although the bill still is not moving through the system. It is good to see Lee's denomination praising her public witness for peace.