United States Capitol
September 13, 1999
Brother David Andrews, CSC
The National Catholic Rural Life Conference
Thank you for your kind introduction.I am the Executive Director of the
National Catholic Rural Life Conference which for 75 years has been at the
side of family farmers. I am also the Vice Chair of the Rural Church
Ecumenical Network and can tell you from my personal knowledge that the faith
community supports the struggle of family farmers today for justice. Our
Green Ribbon Campaign has become a national effort by the faith community.
The Rural Church Ecumenical Network has said publicly: “It is time to speak
the truth to power.” Lutherans understand that farming “is a vocation.”
Presbyterians have said: “We will advocate for the survival of family
farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.” Other faith groups have agreed as
well. The Christian scriptures tell us “God created the human being, placed
her in the garden --to tend it and to keep it.” Furthermore we read: “I have
freed you from slavery--so you can stand erect.” Isaiah says: “Woe to you who
join field to field and house to house until you remain alone on the land.”
Our President (of NCRLC) is Bishop Raymond Burke, the son of dairy
farmers, Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, said recently: “We need to speak the
truth about agriculture....It is a way of life, it is stewardship, the
respectful care of the land, plants and animals in accord with God’s plan--is
best carried out by families.”--not by transnational corporations.
Our Polish friends here today, facing an onslaught by a huge Pork
company, Smithfields, taught a state controlled monopoly that families could
not be defeated by collective farms; so too, they can teach monopoly
controlled states a lesson too. We support family farms, not collective
farms....whether their names be Murphy, Smithy, or IBP.
In 1986 our faith community placed white crosses in the ground as a
symbol of the foreclosures which were taking place. Today, we’re wearing
green ribbons---to symbolize our hope. We shall overcome. We don’t want a
politics of compassion or a politics of pity. We want a politics of justice.
Not a thousand points of light, but a thousand webs of life....communities,
farmers, ranchers, animals, plants, all over America living together in
My faith community--the Roman Catholic Church--has always supported
family farms and has condemned the “cult of efficiency”, the culture of
death, structures of sin. Listen to Pope John Paul II: “There are many
....large scale structures of sin which deliberately steer the goods of the
earth, away from their true purpose, that of serving the good of all, towards
private and sterile ends in a process which spreads contageously.”
Market manipulation, the devastation of the environment, profits for a very
few--these are some of the fruits of the structures of sin.
I invite all of you to spread the word about the Green Ribbon
Campaign--be a sign of hope, Check NCRLC.com for more information.
I announce a National Period of Prayer, Reflection and Action on behalf
of family farms, ranchers, rural communities, a healthy environment--from
World Food Day (October 16) to Thanksgiving (November 25) Bring a farmer to
the pulpit, have a special day of prayer, have a night of reflection with a
pot-luck for groups of neighbors. We can help give you some ideas.
+Stop Merger Mania: including that of Cargil and Continental Grain...I
call for each state Attorney General to object to the approval by the Justice
Department of this merger. I support Senator Wellstone’s call for a
+Congress needs to give early emergency support, don’t dilly dally on the
backs of our farm families
+Food is to important to subject it to the volatility of the market...get
rid of Freedom to Fail!
Remember these principles:
*The economy is for the person, the person is not for the economy. The
human being is created in the image of God, not of a slave or a thing.
*In God’s plan....farming is a stewardship, not cartel control.
*Justice and the Common Good, not private greed or government negligence
--are fundamental moral principles for American agriculture.
*The Web of Life is one---humans are to be responsible stewards of
creation, not predatory megamachines which devastate nature and dehumanize
In 1890, Pope Leo XIII condemned “Those accursed financiers, whose home is
where profit is.” (Rerum Novarum)
Don’t let them take your homes.
Don’t let them take your land.
Don't let them take your soul.
Keep hope alive.
Wear a green ribbon--support family farms.
Be a sign of hope.
Keep hope alive.
God bless you all, we shall overcome.
Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction Project
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin - Madison
U.S. Mail: 146 Agriculture Hall 608.262.7135
Campus: 1535 Observatory Drive 608.262.5200
Madison, WI 53706 fax 265.3020
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: