A Benedictine for president?

The New York Times' Sunday opinion pages had a unique contribution this week from a Benedictine prioress. She was one of 12 people not normally engaged in politics who were asked what they would do if they were actually president of the United States.

She is Sr. Mary David Walgenbach, OSB, Prioress of the Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wis. She said:

"I would invest half of our defense budget in children, young people and in energy conservation.

I would expand the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps and grow both for the next 10 years. A benefit would be two years of free college for two years of service. I'd ask corporations to fund two years of college or a trade school for young women and men from homes stricken with poverty.

I would fund energy-saving improvements -- insulation of houses, solar panels and replacement of inefficient furnaces for households making less than $30,000 a year and develop a sliding scale for those earning more than $30,000 a year. I would help small businesses retrofit their buildings.

I would require members of Congress to participate in a weeklong workshop on dialogue, negotiation and compromise before the next session. All sessions would begin with 10 minutes of silence."

What I love most of all is that "10 minutes of silence" for members of Congress! It's a great start for a presidential platform.

To read more, and also others' contributions, click here.

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