[soc.culture.asian.american] Lobbying for Refuge for the Vietnamese Refugees

jad@cbnewsl.ATT.COM (john.a.dinardo) (01/17/90)

To all who will volunteer to join me in this Congressional
lobbying campaign:

This is the message I am mailing to the 238 pastors and 
rabbis who lead congregations of followers in just one section of
my Congressional district. I got the names and addresses of the
churches and synagogues from the yellow pages of my telephone directory. 
The letter is yours for the taking. Put your name in place of mine.
You can retain it, or revise it, or rewrite it. But deliver it!
Explanatory documentation ought to be included in your mailing,
such as the articles from the Jan. 11th issue of the New York Times
and the Dec. 25th issue of Time magazine (both). You can find and
photocopy these news sources (and more) at your public library.

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Dear Disciple of Christ,        [for pastors]
Dear Follower of God,           [for rabbis]

I urge you to express to your representative in the Congress your 
sympathy for the Vietnamese boat people. These people were so driven
by the abject misery of their lives in Vietnam that the grave risk
of drowning or starvation on the high seas was their chosen alternative.
They sought only that which most of us can not truly appreciate, for
it has never been denied us -- freedom; from torment, from pain, from
hunger, freedom from the dreary, suffocating existence that guaranteed
them they would never see a sparkle in the eyes of their children.
They trusted that those of us in the world who luxuriate in liberty
would accept them. But liberty does not inspire compassion -- and we
are teaching them that bitter truth by our silence and by our stillness.

Now they are learning all over again, in Hong Kong, what they learned
so painfully in Vietnam -- that some things are worse than death.
Now, the faith they naively held for the humaneness of free peoples 
is being requited as the British government orders, and the United
States government condones, their deliverance back into the hands of
the very despot from whom they fled -- the Vietnamese government.
How will they be received in their familiar Hell? With all the
vindictiveness that a brutal tyrant can muster against such traitorous

I urge you to express to your representative in the Congress your
wish that the United States of America give sanctuary to this
shipwrecked body of humanity. And I hope you will act to disseminate
this letter to other clergy people, so that they too may learn of
this catastrophe.

As with our children and our parishioners, we have a responsibility
to instill the highest moral standards in our government as the
guiding force behind all of it's actions. More important still, we
have a responsibility, as moral human beings, to relieve the 
suffering and to rectify the injustices inflicted upon a battered
sea of humanity struggling to survive elsewhere on this Earth.

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     John DiNardo

jad@cbnewsl.ATT.COM (john.a.dinardo) (01/18/90)

My telephone directory, which contains only a half of one out of 26
counties in New Jersey, contains the names and addresses of 238
churches and synagogues in it's yellow pages. If the pastors and
rabbis of many of these 238 religious congregations were to mail 
their own personal appeals, on behalf of the Vietnamese boat people,
to their Congressional representative, he would be greatly impressed
by the unified political forces in his district aligning to launch 
such a strongly concerted humanitarian appeal. I think that the
push-pull incentive to reap commendation rather than condemnation from
this large church-going constituency might well motivate him to
introduce or endorse a bill to provide asylum for this shipwrecked
segment of humanity teetering on the edge of fate.

My plan is to type a one-page letter of appeal, go to my public
library and photocopy it along with the articles from the December 
25th issue of Time magazine and the January 11th issue of the
New York Times -- and gradually mail this appeal to these 
pastors and rabbis.

So, as a solitary individual, I have an opportunity to inspire an
entire Congressional district to action -- and it can only be done
when a noble, humanitarian cause is made to touch the hearts of
compassionate citizens in a nation where free will is not
suppressed by totalitarianism.

Imagine the reverberations on Capitol Hill if activists from a   
hundred Congressional districts were to succeed at such a campaign.

It could fail only if religious leaders do not really believe 
the principles of the religions to which their lives are supposedly
devoted. I intend to find out whether they really do believe.

   John DiNardo

jad@cbnewsl.ATT.COM (john.a.dinardo) (01/20/90)

To all who will volunteer to join me in this Congressional
lobbying campaign:

I've announced, in other postings, that I am mailing a humanitarian
appeal to many ministers, priests and rabbis, who lead congregations in 
my Congressionial district, urging them to urge their congressman to work 
to provide sanctuary in the U.S. for the imperiled Vietnamese refugees. 

In your mailing, you may wish to include a page that reads as such:

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   If you would be so kind as to send me a copy of your letter to
   our congressman, or even just a note affirming that action, I
   will broadcast it throughout North America via Usenet, a computer
   video text intercommunications network whose subscribers consist 
   of thousands of professors, students and employees at many (or most)
   universities and major corporations in the U.S.A and Canada.
   The medium of Usenet gives all subscribers access to read, on their 
   video display terminals, all writings posted by any and all 
   subscribers, on a vast array of topics.
  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Also, I called my congressman's local district office and got a list of 
the cities and towns comprising my Congressional district.

Once we figure out the right buttons to push, this monster machine
will begin moving forward.

      John DiNardo