Dangerous nuns

Three nuns are facing eight years in prison for — well, for this:

Sister Hudson, 68, Sister Ardeth Platte, 66, and Sister Carol Gilbert, 55, were charged in federal court with a felony for defacing a Minuteman III missile silo on Oct. 6 and are scheduled to be sentenced July 25.

The three, dressed in white chemical weapons suits, trespassed on federal land in northeast Colorado, swinging hammers and painting a cross on the silo with their own blood. They argued it was a symbolic disarmament that did not jeopardize national security.

The nuns said they were compelled to act as war with Iraq moved closer and because the United States has never promised not to use nuclear weapons.

Whatever you think about their choices here — I’m personally not entirely comfortable with overly theatrical civil disobedience — the penalties they’re facing seem excessively harsh. A reader forwards the following information concerning the case:

Many persons have been asking, “What can I do for Jackie Hudson, OP (facing 6-7 years), Carol Gilbert OP and Ardeth Platte OP both facing 6 1/2 to 8 years? We have met with our presentence investigation officers the week of April 14 and they suggested that letters of support be mailed to their probation department. These could take the form of your awareness of the Sisters personally or their character as an individual, or the letter could combine all three persons. Letters are due before June 1. Please write the letters to Judge Robert Blackburn but mail them to Susan Heckman at the address below.
Mail the letters to:
Susan M. Heckman
Senior US Probation Officer
1961 Stout St.. Suite 525
Denver, CO 80294-0101
Fax (303) 844 5439

As always, if you choose to send a note, be polite. It’s true what your mother always told you about honey, vinegar, and flies.