Bonnie Wrenn Banks: What moms really want

Editor's note: Bonnie Wrenn Banks, of Decatur, Ga., passed through Craig in August 2005 on a cross-country road trip distributing DVDs about the risks of nuclear weapons. The Craig Daily Press wrote an article about her mission.

What if mothers were the ones who composed Mother's Day cards?

The moms I know would jump at the chance. And we'd do the job very differently.

Sure, we appreciate the nice sentiments in traditional Mother's Day cards. It is true that we offer unconditional love and give kisses for booboos; but that's hardly the whole of it.

Being a mom does mean we keep the home and hearth; but it also makes us keenly aware of the state of the world -- and calls us to seek peace and work for justice. Children ask the world of us. Mothers understand that. Our cards would reflect it.

Just imagine what the rack would look like:

  • "This Mother's Day, let's bring our families back together."

Opens to "Support our troops: Bring them home."

The card pictures U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq. There is a sense of hope, promise, the possibility of a future. Heads are held high with the strength that comes from looking with honesty and intelligence at a war that is not the answer, and summoning the courage to change course.

  • "What will we leave our children?"

Opens to "Debt is a rotten legacy."

Our national debt is escalating dramatically, and the people who will have to pay it off are not even able to vote yet! But it's not too late. We can still save our federal budget.

-- End tax cuts. In the past five years, tax cuts deprived the Treasury of more than $1 trillion and contributed significantly to the growth of budget deficits. During that time, the federal budget swung from $5.6 trillion in projected 10-year surpluses to projected deficits of $3.4 trillion. (Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

-- Cut wasteful Pentagon spending. For example, Ballistic Missile Defense, which does not work, yet receives more funding than any other weapons system in the Pentagon budget, approximately $10 billion per year. (Source: National Priorities Project)

  • "How do you spell hope this Mother's Day?"

Opens to: "D-A-R-F-U-R"

The letters run vertically down a tall card. Each letter issues a call.

D. Darfur needs you.

A. Act Now.

R. Recognize the magnitude of this tragedy. 3.5 million people are hungry. 2.5 million have been displaced. 300,000 have died.

F. Feed the people. The U.N. World Food Program recently announced that food rations for Darfur will be half the minimum amount required each day.

U. Urge your elected officials to do more. Visit www.savedarfur.org/action/lobby.

R. Remember prior indifference. U.S. intervention in other humanitarian disasters would have saved lives.

  • And one more:

An old photo of a woman from an earlier era.

Opens to the words of poet and activist Julia Ward Howe, who founded Mother's Day in 1872.

"Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

Stunned by the devastation of the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe founded Mother's Day for Peace as a rallying point for women to come together to end war.

If the moms I know wrote the Mother's Day cards, they would be like this. There are many women -- biological moms and mothers of the heart -- and many men who would eagerly contribute to that rack of cards and shop from it. We need only find our voice, and quickly. There is no time to spare.

Motherhood is the most powerful force on earth -- powerful enough to give all our children a bountiful world. Wouldn't you like to receive a Mother's Day card with that message?

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