Notes on the Atrocities
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004  

Christian Churches Oppose Iraq Policy

Chuck Currie has posted a wonderful letter from the National Council of Churches that calls for reason and a shift from the neocon agenda. It reads, in part:

Two central claims of the Christian faith are crucial in our thinking: that every person, as a child of God, is of infinite worth; and that all persons, as participants in God’s one creation, are related in their humanity and vulnerability. This is why the World Council of Churches has asserted that “war is contrary to the will of God” - because it destroys that which God has made sacred.

In a sinful world, some of us may hold that there may be times when war is a necessary evil. But Christians should never identify violence against others with the will of God and should always work to prevent and end it.

We believe, with these things in mind, that the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy must be to build up the whole, interdependent human family and to promote reconciliation whenever possible. Yes, this means standing firmly against all acts of terror, but it also means envisioning a world in which war is truly a last resort.

Current U.S. foreign policy, however, is not aligned with this principle. Many people see our policy as one based on protection of our country’s economic interests narrowly defined, rather than on principles of human rights and justice that would serve our nation’s interests in deep and tangible ways. We are convinced that current policy is dangerous for America and the world and will only lead to further violence.

We, therefore, call for a change of course in Iraq, and we encourage you to do the same. Specifically, we are calling upon our country to turn over the transition of authority and post-war reconstruction to the United Nations - and to recognize U.S. responsibility to contribute to this effort generously through security, economic, and humanitarian support - not only to bring international legitimacy to the effort, but also to foster any chance for lasting peace. We would ask that members of our churches, as they feel appropriate, contact their respective congressional delegations to urge the U.S. to change course in Iraq.

It includes a number of signatories whose member churches number in the thousands (including Bush's own Methodists). What's really remarkable is that the group is encouraging member churches to read the letter aloud from the pulpit in the coming month.

But let's not make too much political hay out of it now. The Christian Churches are not making a political statement so much as a religious, humanitarian one. In the spirit of my earlier post, it is a wonderful message to receive on this dark day.

posted by Jeff | 11:51 AM |
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