2007.02.07: February 7, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Thailand: Diplomacy: Hunger: Religion: Charleston Gazette: Tony Hall shares perspective on relief efforts

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Special Report: RPCV Tony Hall: Tony Hall: Newest Stories: 2007.02.07: February 7, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Thailand: Diplomacy: Hunger: Religion: Charleston Gazette: Tony Hall shares perspective on relief efforts

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Tony Hall shares perspective on relief efforts

Tony Hall shares perspective on relief efforts

Hall found God while he served in Congress, and he wanted to blend his faith into his political work, but not, he emphasized, by shoving it down anyone else’s throat. Better to teach by example, he said. “I prefer to see a sermon rather than hear one.” More than 2,500 verses in the Bible, Hall said, address the crucial issues: widows, orphans, the sick, hungry and poor. Hall pointed to an African saying, “When the elephants fight, the grass dies.” That means, he explained, that when the big leaders fight, the little people suffer. “We pray for the leaders not because they’re better, but because they have the power,” said Hall, who has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Former Congressman Tony Hall of Ohio was ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand in the 1960's.

Tony Hall shares perspective on relief efforts

Breakfast speaker shares perspective on relief efforts

By Bob Schwarz
Staff writer

In 1984, Tony Hall, then a Democratic congressman from Ohio, went to Ethiopia for the first time.

Wracked by civil war, the country had descended into chaos, Hall told the annual Louderback Legislative Prayer Breakfast Tuesday morning at Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston. Famine stalked the land. Seven thousand people a day were dying. As he and a doctor walked among thousands of Ethiopians, people thrust out their children and said, “Take my child.”

At times, Hall walked among the dying and the dead. On the plane ride home, he decided that people, congressmen included, do a lot of things in life that don’t amount to much. He made many more trips to Ethiopia, and other trips to North Korea and Iraq. He became an advocate for hunger relief and human rights around the world.
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After 24 years in Congress, Hall took a new job when President George W. Bush named him U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in 2002. He served 3 1/2 years.

In Congress, he co-founded and later headed the Select Committee on Hunger, and fasted for 22 days in 1993 when House leaders dropped the committee.

As an elected official, he voted for taxes, voted against taxes, voted for war, voted against war. None of those votes seemed to make the world better, he said.

Hall found God while he served in Congress, and he wanted to blend his faith into his political work, but not, he emphasized, by shoving it down anyone else’s throat. Better to teach by example, he said. “I prefer to see a sermon rather than hear one.”

More than 2,500 verses in the Bible, Hall said, address the crucial issues: widows, orphans, the sick, hungry and poor.

Hall pointed to an African saying, “When the elephants fight, the grass dies.” That means, he explained, that when the big leaders fight, the little people suffer.

“We pray for the leaders not because they’re better, but because they have the power,” said Hall, who has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Among those who attended the breakfast were Gov. Joe Manchin, 10 active legislators including the House speaker and Senate president, and a few former legislators. Manchin spoke briefly, stressing that he tries to never lose sight of the safety net that society must provide for those unable to care for themselves.

Andy Richardson, a former workers’ compensation commissioner and the prayer breakfast coordinator, said organizers took pains to not have a repeat of last year. He was referring to former Rep. William Dannemeyer, R-Calif., who reportedly went on a tirade about liberals and the American Civil Liberties Union before a local minister rose and cut him short.

To contact staff writer Bob Schwarz, use e-mail or call 348-1249.




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Headlines: February, 2007; RPCV Tony Hall (Thailand); Figures; Peace Corps Thailand; Directory of Thailand RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Thailand RPCVs; Diplomacy; Hunger; Religion; Ohio





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Story Source: Charleston Gazette

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Thailand; Diplomacy; Hunger; Religion

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