Baha'i News -- Men of God, warriors for peace
Posted on Mon, Sep. 23, 2002
Men of God, warriors for peace
Los Angeles Times
A statement from Leonard Beerman, founding rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles; James Lawson, pastor emeritus of
Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles and president of CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice); Maher
Hathout, senior adviser of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Los Angeles; and George Regas, rector emeritus of All
Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif.:
As religious leaders, we collectively disavow the path that affirms that grief must lead to war. We refuse to accept
violence as the necessary consequence of loss. Our religious traditions must not bless war. Those peace-loving expressions
of one God must not support the lie of the "just war" against Iraq.
We see the costs of war as including the loss of American lives and treasure; further death and neglect of Iraqi
civilians, especially children; the tarnishing of the United States' reputation and diplomatic leadership; and an
intensification of hatred in the Middle East toward the United States and the West.
We reject the heresy that sprang from the embrace of nationalism by religion's sanction of wars. For all time, the evil
and pernicious "blessing of war" as just must be repudiated.
We know what our faith traditions command of us: to be peacemakers; to do good to those who hate us; to abide by the
peace of God/the Ultimate.
Our faith traditions, said Mohandas K. Gandhi, are highways leading to the same destination. Christian and Muslim, Hindu
and Jew, Buddhist and Shinto, Bahai, Sikh and Jain: All celebrate the sacredness of human life and charge us to build a
just, peaceful and equitable world; all celebrate the power of love to vanquish hate and the power of mercy to overcome
We also remember all too well the wars carried out in our religions' name in Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia and many more
places. Our experience in faith leads us to repudiate war as the method for problem solving.
We mourn the loss of life resulting from the attacks of Sept. 11, but we do not ask that more blood be shed. Our
mourning is a peaceful mourning and is not a podium to call for a war of vengeance against Iraqis.
©Copyright 2002, Charlotte Observer
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