We Must Oppose This War

[The Lord] shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. —Micah 4:3

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.... Be perfect, therefore, as God in heaven is perfect." —Matthew 5:43-44, 48

We are Christians, clergy and laity, from Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Historic Peace Church communities. After careful consideration and prayer, as citizens who love our country, we have come to painful conclusions.

We believe that U.S. war against Iraq would be unjust and immoral. As a "pre-emptive" attack unprecedented in our history, it would dishonor our nation, disregard morality, and violate international law. Citizens of good will are thrown into a crisis of conscience by our government's threatened initiation of this war.

A potential threat is not sufficient for war. Even if posed by a ruthless dictator, it is not enough that he might possess weapons of mass destruction, and that he might use them against us (or our allies) at some vague time in the future. Saddam Hussein has often been reckless, but he knows that he could not use weapons of mass destruction without bringing down ruin on himself.

This war is not a last resort. Reasonable remedies to our government's and the world's concerns have not been exhausted. Inspections, for example, have been effective in the past and need to be given a reasonable chance once again.

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 2003
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