No More Widows from War

A BIBLICAL SISTER IN SPIRIT IS the widow who importuned for justice in the parable of the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18. After a judge had granted justice to the widow so she would stop bothering him, Jesus said, "Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? ... I tell you, God will quickly grant justice to them."

I keep the image of the importuning widow in mind as I think about the women in the Middle East and the United States who are working for and demanding a just and peaceful resolution of the confrontation between Iraq and the United States. As women of faith in the United States, Church Women United, an ecumenical women's organization, is concerned about the impact of war on women's lives here in the United States and in the Middle East. We have been involved in peacemaking since our founding just days after Pearl Harbor, in December 1941. Our first official act was to send a telegram to the president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, calling upon the U.S. government "to build a world order based on love and justice without which there can be no peace."

Today, in another time of tension and possible war, Church Women United is urging women of faith to "say no" to war by signing a peace petition opposing the massive military buildup in the Gulf. Our Palestinian sisters asked us to raise our voices against sending our young men and women to the Gulf. "As mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of the young people already in the Gulf, spare your people and our people the tragedy of another war ... Let your voices be heard now, before it is too late."

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