November 2013 Meditation Follow-up

“One Minute for Peace”
with Mary E. Hunt

“One Minute for Peace” is a project of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group located in Philadelphia ( They have been doing peace work for nine decades. They received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 along with the British Quakers for their post-war efforts to fed and care for people in Europe, especially children.

Their current project, “One Minute for Peace,” is a graphic way to think about how much of our common money, U.S. tax money, goes to war, defense, and nuclear weapons.The wonderful ribbon-like flyer that they have produced shows the percentages of the 2013 national budget that go toward various aspects of our common life. Note that 57% of all tax revenue goes toward military purposes. Food and Agriculture, Transportation, Labor, Science, Energy and Environment each get 3% or less. The federal government spends 4 % on International Affairs, 5% on Health, 5.5% on Housing and Community, 6% on Government costs, 6% on Education, and 5% on Veteran’s Benefits. The rest goes to the military.

AFSC figures that the U.S. spends $1.2 million every minute on defense-related things. They want to raise just one minute’s worth for peace. Imagine that while we meditate for 20 minutes, $24 million will be spent on the military. They quote President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was a Republican and a general: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Let this harsh and, if I may say so, grim reality ground our quiet time together.