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Is Bush deaf to church doubts on Iraq war?
boston globe ^ | 12-9-02 | Jim Wallis

Posted on 12/09/2002 3:38:47 AM PST by TheRedSoxWinThePennant

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:08:41 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

RECENT NEWS stories indicate that the White House and new Republican controlled Congress intend to put the president's faith-based initiative high on the agenda for 2003. But the president is not acknowledging another faith-based initiative - the strong majority of Christian leaders opposing a war against Iraq.


(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: fellowtraveler; religiousmarxist; sojourner; swimtocuba
I dont buy that a majority of church leaders are against war if it is proven saddam is a threat

for more about the sojourners check out their website which describes them as a progressive christian publication. to me it looks like your typical lefty web site

http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm
1 posted on 12/09/2002 3:38:47 AM PST by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
Well buddy, you're not the "church".

The "just" outcome for Saddam is way past due.
2 posted on 12/09/2002 3:45:48 AM PST by DB
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
TheRedSoxWinThePennant, I don't mean "you", I mean author.
3 posted on 12/09/2002 3:47:28 AM PST by DB
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
I assume Jim Wallis and most of the anti-war religious leaders would not have endorsed the use of force to rid the world of Nazism? I think that was a just war under any theological reading of the moral use of force. So is ridding the world of Saddam.
4 posted on 12/09/2002 4:05:27 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant; Thinkin' Gal; Prodigal Daughter; babylonian; Fred Mertz; ...
.
5 posted on 12/09/2002 4:09:07 AM PST by 2sheep
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To: goldstategop
Saddam Hussein's iconoclastic rule and Christian persecution flies in the face of Christian principles of peace and maintaining the free exertion of jobs and "churches" by Christians. Moreover Saddam broke every treaty and promise he ever made.

It would be utter nonsense to refuse the job duty of fighting Saddam off the planet. And Christian doctrine is anything but pacificism. It is about war ending, not war starting.
6 posted on 12/09/2002 4:09:29 AM PST by lavaroise
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
"...Is Bush deaf to church doubts on Iraq war?..."

Poor Jimmy Wallis...

Desperate to be taken seriously by men of importance, to be 'in the loop'.

Like a devious, manipulative woman, angling to mate with her social circle's alpha male, poor Jimmy tries to finesse and manage a leader, a man of action who is entirely out of Jimmy’s league, with mere words.

Maybe he should just 'put some ice on it' and go to bed.

7 posted on 12/09/2002 4:10:03 AM PST by DWSUWF
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant; goldstategop
The Presbyterian "Peacemongers"
by J. R. Nyquist
http://www.financialsense.com/stormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2002/1104.htm

The General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. recently issued a “Call to Prayer and Action” related to the Iraq crisis (see http://www.pcusa.org/iraq/gacstatement.htm). In recent weeks, Presbyterian ministers within the denomination have issued statements opposing President Bush’s hard line against Saddam Hussein and the “Axis of Evil.” Presbyterian ministers are now quoting Mathew 5:39, where Christ says, “resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Even conservative pastors (i.e. those who admittedly voted for George W. Bush) are making pacifist arguments. For example, the Rev. Dan Price of Eureka (CA), commenting on “Just War Theory,” wrote: “it is difficult to argue convincingly that Jesus would subscribe to such a theory.” Jesus told us to love our enemies, wrote Price: “can we really love them and drop bombs on them at the same time?”

According to the General Assembly Council’s “Call to Prayer and Action”: Christians are “to ‘overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21).” We are left to conclude, from this simple and straightforward quotation, that President George W. Bush’s tough stance toward Iraq is un-Christian. In its “Call to Prayer and Action,” the Presbyterian Council stated that: “Clearly … no person or nation [should] dare indulge in self-righteous condemnation of others.” Instead of describing totalitarian dictators as “evil,” the Presbyterian Council prefers that the president “speak in ways that encourage peace, rather than war, and refrain from language that seems to label certain individuals and nations as ‘evil’ and others as ‘good.’” (This obviously refers to the president’s “Axis of Evil” remarks.) The Council further noted that the Church “is called to practice forgiveness of enemies and to commend to the nations as practical politics the search for cooperation and peace.” [Italics added.] The Council added that if Iraq and the United States allocated their resources to peace “rather than to the instruments of war … God’s vision of shalom/salaam/peace would be much nearer to reality for all.” In a further aside, the Council said: “America must“ guard against unilateralism, rooted in our unique position of political, economic, and military power, that perpetuates the perception that ‘might makes right,’ and sets us over [and] against the larger community of nations.”

As if this were not enough, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Web site (http://www.pcusa.org/) leads with an article titled “Peacemongers.” It is a press release that glowingly describes the Presbyterian peace movement as it huddles “in the offices of U.S. Congressmen” and takes part “in 1960s-style ‘teach-ins.’”

As everyone knows, America is at war. We did not “turn the other cheek” after 9/11. From all outward appearances, the nation is determined to resist evil and smash the terrorists. Perhaps I was not paying attention at the time, but I did not hear our vaunted Presbyterian “peacemongers” quote Mathew 5:39 when the Twin Towers came crashing down. Now why would that be? If Christians are truly obliged to “resist not evil” on every occasion, why didn’t the General Assembly Council loudly denounce the War on Terror?

In 1783 a Whig minister (some scholars believe it was Stephen Case) wrote, “prayers and tears are the arms of the church.” He also stated that, together “with preaching and church discipline, [these] are the only ecclesiastical or spiritual arms of a church as a church; but the members thereof are also men, and as men they may use the same weapons as others do.”

Before setting down anything further, it should be understood that I am not a member of the Republican Party. I have not advocated, nor do I presently advocate, an invasion of Iraq; but I am a Presbyterian who is disappointed to find silly arguments published in church bulletins and on the official Presbyterian U.S.A. Web site.

The gospels are not political science, any more than Genesis is paleontology. To emphasize a doctrine of passive resistance, given to Jews under the Roman Empire, is to forget the context of our own time. America is the world’s policeman, the protector of the weak and helpless among nations, the guarantor of peace and stability, the nemesis of totalitarian ambition. If America adopted a policy of “resist not evil,” wars of aggression and plunder would flare up on all sides and millions would perish. The light of civilization would be dimmed.

“Turning the other cheek” may be the right thing to do when your own cheek is at hazard; but when the lives of millions hang in the balance, when nations are threatened with destruction, there is such a thing as duty. In this situation it is folly to teach the world’s policeman to set aside his gun and baton. At the same time it is subversive to set up an answer in advance, with clever rhetorical preparation, and then ask the unthinking believer, “What would Jesus do?” Yes, Jesus told the Jews to love their enemies, to turn the other cheek. (In those days the enemy would have been the Romans.) But did He intend this teaching for twenty-first century America, burdened as it is with the responsibility of defending the free world from dictators and terrorists? Our historical context is not that of first century Jews. Responsibility for global order fell to us after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. As this is the situation, does Christian doctrine obligate America, as one Presbyterian minister wrote, “to go to the cross” because “taking life contradicts what the Gospel teaches about the sanctity of life”? Is the battle plan of the faithful, in every instance, “to overcome evil, not with power, but with the power of love”?

It could be argued that the Presbyterian clergy and their General Assembly Council have taken a one-sided approach to the New Testament, perhaps prompted by undue nostalgia for the 1960s. I am not a theologian, but there are passages in the Bible that contradict the universality of the Gospel teaching that says, “Resist not evil.” This teaching, advocated in the first book of the New Testament does not appear in the last book, which says of the King of kings and Lord of lords that “out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Rev. 19:15) In that same chapter we read: “and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Rev. 19:11)

Who therefore asks, “What would Jesus do?” The answer is clearly set forth. The King of kings makes war; he calls evil by its proper name and smites the nations. Will the world be allowed to crucify Him a second time? Clearly, the Presbyterian General Assembly Council, and many of the Church’s ministers, ought to read what the Bible actually teaches on this point.

Sophisticated and subtle clergymen, fed on science as opposed to superstition, must surely recognize that the Bible makes use of metaphor and hyperbole. This is famously acknowledged, especially in theological seminaries. The academic game of the hour, of course, is to mix everything up for the sake of some outrageous theological turn: in the present instance, to advocate anarchy and appeasement under the cover of the Gospel.

It can be argued that the Presbyterian General Assembly Council takes a politically correct and not a theologically correct position. The Council opposes the President’s idea of “regime change” in Iraq, supposedly on scriptural grounds. But it is all about politics. It is all about 1960s-style “teach-ins.”

Why are there no “teach-ins” about abortion? Why are there no “teach-ins” about adultery, fornication or sodomy? There is so much evil in the world. We must, after all, fix our attention on the biggest evil of all: that is, American foreign policy. Apparently, this is the logic of today’s Presbyterian scholars and bureaucrats. When a foreign dictator is pressed by U.S. military power (in the 1960s the foreign dictator was Ho Chi Minh) it is time to promote peace. Where was all this noble outrage when Iraq invaded Iran or Kuwait? Where was this outrage when Saddam was slaughtering the Kurds or massacring whole Iraqi villages?

I do not know if it is prudent to invade Iraq; but there can be no moral objection to a war against someone who tortures children to death (as a means to coerce atomic scientists). There can be no moral objection to a war against the tyrant who invaded Iran and Kuwait, who has promised to avenge “the centuries of wrong” once he gets a nuclear bomb. Saddam Hussein openly admires Hitler and Stalin. They are his heroes. Under the circumstances, prudence enjoins us to make war on this man if he threatens our country or our allies. But America’s Presbyterian scholars and bureaucrats denounce President Bush’s proposal for “regime change” in Iraq as “unjust.” They chastise him for calling a blood-soaked dictator “evil.”

Something is wrong with those who denounce a courageous stand against a ruthless dictator as “unjust,” who clothe their own misguided politics in Christ’s teachings. And there is also something laughable. In the midst of a war against Arab terrorists, we learn that Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel is the Presbyterian U.S.A. General Assembly moderator. In terms of “political correctness” this is almost self-parody. I do not know the circumstances behind the choice of Fahed Abu-Akel as moderator, but the leadership is apparently overzealous in its desire to affirm multicultural inclusiveness. (This is evidently the first consideration at every turn.)

It is of interest to read, on the official Presbyterian Web site, that the Detroit presbytery, along with other “Presbyterian entities,” recently sponsored a program to explore Islamic theological traditions. I am led to conclude that if Buddhist fanatics bombed America tomorrow, many presbyteries would begin studying Buddhism.

As for the “teach-ins” organized by assorted theology professors at Princeton and other universities, you would have to be naïve to miss the radical political agenda behind the religious façade. Consider what is being taught: “The program will explore the implications of a [U.S.] pre-emptive strike.” How about the implications of an Iraqi atomic bomb? Or how about Iraq’s aggression against its neighbors, or Iraq’s noncompliance with U.N. weapons inspectors?

The views of the Presbyterian General Assembly Council, as expressed in “A Message to the Church and Nation: A Call to Prayer and Action,” have little to do with Presbyterian tradition. “Give peace a chance” was a slogan we heard in the 1960s when it sank Southeast Asia in communist tyranny, leading to the deaths of millions at the hands of Pol Pot (see The Black Book of Communism). In the present situation “give peace a chance” means: “Give Saddam a chance.”

How many chances is this bloody tyrant entitled to?

I am disappointed in the leadership of the Presbyterian Church. Whether the clergy realize it or not, advocating non-violence in politics is the same as advocating anarchy. If Christians are, indeed, prohibited from taking human life, then Christian civilization is a contradiction in terms. Civil order depends on force of arms. The state cannot exist without violence. The philosopher Spinoza wrote that, “if government be taken away, no good thing can last, all falls into dispute, anger and anarchy reign unchecked amid universal fear.”

Consider the irony and the paradox at the root of non-violence: anarchy itself is raw violence. It is unchecked violence. It is the state of nature described by Sir Thomas Hobbes, in which human life becomes “nasty, poor, brutish and short.”

Consider the reality: If we give up our right to self-defense, if we surrender the state, if we leave the sphere of politics to the likes of Saddam Hussein, degradation and infamy will follow in our wake. Posterity will curse us.

Now ask yourself: Is this the course of love?


© 2002 Jeffrey R. Nyquist
November 4, 2002

8 posted on 12/09/2002 4:11:21 AM PST by lavaroise
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To: goldstategop
A few days ago I started a list of institutions which have been suborned by the left. I forgot to add the National Council of Churches:

Bar Associations

Medical Associations

Girl Scouts

League of Women Voters

National Public Radio

PBS

All TV networks bearing initials

Most newspapers

Ivory soap percentage of Universities

NEA

Sierre Club and the like

9 posted on 12/09/2002 4:17:39 AM PST by nathanbedford
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To: nathanbedford
Only FR is missing from the list. We're still waiting for them to come for us. LOL!!!
10 posted on 12/09/2002 4:19:13 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
A few days ago I started a list of institutions which have been suborned by the left. I forgot to add the National Council of Churches:

Bar Associations

Medical Associations

Girl Scouts

League of Women Voters

National Public Radio

PBS

All TV networks bearing initials

Most newspapers

Ivory soap percentage of Universities

NEA

Sierre Club and the like

11 posted on 12/09/2002 4:23:05 AM PST by nathanbedford
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To: goldstategop
Jim Wallis is not anti-war, he is Pro-Saddam/Pro-Marxist.

According to Information Digest, Wallis is “a radical evangelical, who, with encouragement from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) seeks to convert evangelicals to liberation theology and convince them of the ‘impossibility of making capitalism work for justice and peace.’” (Information Digest, Sept. 26, 1996, p. 163)

Among those serving as contributing editors for Sojourners magazine include Honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Cornel West, and DSA Vice chair Rosemary Radford Ruether, who was also a leader in the Re-Imagining movement.

Wallis stated his own support for a Marxist world view in a 1979 article in Mission Trends: “As more Christians become influenced by liberation theology, finding themselves increasingly rejecting the values and institutions of capitalism, they will also be drawn to the Marxist analysis and praxis that is so central to the movement. That more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes is therefore predictable. It will even be predictable among the so-called ‘young evangelicals’ who, for the most part, have a zeal for social change that is not yet matched by a developed socioeconomic analysis that will cause them to see the impossibility of making capitalism work for justice and peace. Now that the ‘new socialist society’ is replacing the capitalist system in the minds of many as the hope for the future, growing numbers of Christians will join the movement and seek to provide a convincing religious rationale and justification for what is defined as historically inevitable.” ( Mission Trends No 4, 1979, “Liberation Theologies in North America,” pp. 54-55)

Source

A real Marxist's Marxist, Jim Wallis would make Jim Jones smile. And of course he doesn't see any reason to bring "Uncle Saddam" to justice, no fellow Marxist could.

12 posted on 12/09/2002 4:24:08 AM PST by PeaceBeWithYou
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
the strong majority of Christian leaders opposing a war against Iraq.
Maybe amongst the Christ denying so called Christian denominations, but, not among the Christ fearing preachers.
This is one of those times that screams for a source list, not where the info was obtained, but who where the so called Christian leaders interviewed.
13 posted on 12/09/2002 4:25:22 AM PST by 2timothy3.16
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To: nathanbedford
Sir, you forgot the worst of the bunch, the DNC aka communist party USA
14 posted on 12/09/2002 4:27:27 AM PST by 2timothy3.16
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
Every church I have been to since 9/11 does pray for peace, through justice. Which means to take care of the terrorists, then enjoy peace.
15 posted on 12/09/2002 4:28:19 AM PST by buffyt
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
"I dont buy that a majority of church leaders are against war if it is proven saddam is a threat."

Maybe the mainstream churches - I mean the ones who subscribe to the new religionists mantra of "moral relativity/tolerance of everything".
But not any serious student of the Bible as Divine Revelation, esp. the Old Testament.
In any event, that's why "The Church" does not run this government - because they are NOT elected by the American people to lead, but G.W. and the Congress IS.

16 posted on 12/09/2002 4:34:03 AM PST by Psalm 73
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
But the president is not acknowledging ... the strong majority of Christian leaders opposing a war against Iraq.

Uh... yeah. Right.

The leaders in the Christian church do not support Bush on Iraq?

Apparently we need to define "leaders" and "Christian."

And by the way, where are the liberal calls for "separation of church and state"?

17 posted on 12/09/2002 4:38:46 AM PST by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
Yep, the article is written by those very people that would scream the loudest about the "separation of Church and State" were a deeply religeous Supreme Court Justice to be nominated.
18 posted on 12/09/2002 4:41:21 AM PST by stylin_geek
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
the strong majority of Christian leaders opposing a war against Iraq

And who are they? I haven't heard a peep.

19 posted on 12/09/2002 4:41:27 AM PST by rintense
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To: PeaceBeWithYou
Outstanding find! Thank you!!
20 posted on 12/09/2002 4:53:39 AM PST by Fury
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
"...most church leaders have concluded that in the current circumstances, it cannot - a war against Iraq would not be just."

This guy's spoutin' absolute Barbra Streisand...has he spoken with all the church leaders or does he have poll results proving his hypothesis?! Methinks not...this is just his personal rant and he realizes how weak his argument is, so he pretends to be speaking for "most church leaders"!!

Dethrone the Murderous Tyrant...NOW!!!

SHEEEESH...MUD

21 posted on 12/09/2002 4:56:42 AM PST by Mudboy Slim
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To: Fury
>>the strong majority of Christian leaders opposing a war against Iraq.


Is this the same Christian leaders whom beleive raping altar boys and other children is OK?

Yea, we should defintely be taking advice from that group....
22 posted on 12/09/2002 4:57:57 AM PST by freeper12
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To: freeper12
These "Christian Leaders" remind me of the minister in the movie "ZULU", A major
threat looms and his answer was to just pray for salvation from the hordes.
At one point the Sgt.Maj. says..." there ,there just be quite, sir, and don't upset the lads"
Good advice in these times..
ROBE
23 posted on 12/09/2002 6:00:28 AM PST by Robe
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
Sojourners is and always has been a leftist pro-Marxist publication and Jim Wallis among the most liberal leaning. He may point to Christian theology in this case, because it's handy, but more often than not Sojourner's concerns are politically motivated. If I wasted the time to get into an argument with him I might ask him for the Christian theology and Biblical commentary regarding abortion and homosexuality, both of which he obviously approves.
24 posted on 12/09/2002 6:23:47 AM PST by ncpastor
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
There are three theological positions that can be taken on war from a Biblical perspective.

1.Just war theory, where our national security is at stake as in the case where we are attacked.

2.Biblical pacifism, based primarily on teachings of Jesus and Sermon on the Mount, followed by the three Historic Peace Churches, The Society of Friends (Quakers), Mennonites, and Church of the Brethren.Which states all war is sin.

3. Holy War theory, which was the position during the Crusades a millenium ago.It is about the same as the radical Muslim view of conversion by force and for the cause of God.

A point of view,although rather obscure might be applicible in the war on terror.D.Bonhoeffer was a Biblical pacifist who returned to Germany during World War Two and became involved in the plot to assassinate Alolph Hitler by blowing him up.He was arrested and executed by the Nazi's shortly before his camp was liberated by the Allies in 1945. The term is "The Teleological Suspension of the Ethical"Which basically means that someone such as a Sadaam is so evil that killing him is far better ethically than to let him continue to go on when perhaps millions of lives may be spared by ending his reign.Something that we might consider.

25 posted on 12/09/2002 6:50:28 AM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
BTTT
26 posted on 12/09/2002 6:51:05 AM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
"...where are the liberal calls for "separation of church and state"?"

My question, exactly.

27 posted on 12/09/2002 7:17:25 AM PST by Right_in_Virginia
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To: Right_in_Virginia
About the only time the leftists will embrace the Church is if they can find a few who agree with them (or who make statements that can be twisted to signify agreement)...
28 posted on 12/09/2002 7:52:33 AM PST by trebb
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant
Which church "leaders" would those be?
29 posted on 12/09/2002 9:39:10 AM PST by Ol' Sparky
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