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Opposes military solution

September 12, 2013
Messenger News

To the editor:

I am writing as a person of faith to argue against President Obama's proposed military action in Syria.

I understand that a good case can be made for the bombing the President is asking Congress to authorize. The use of chemical weapons is a horrible offense, against one of the very few mores regarding war that our world has established. The Geneva Convention action (which Syria has never signed, I will admit) that bans chemical weapons is almost 100 years old, so this is nothing new. Also, I harbor no illusions that there is an easy or maybe even reachable diplomatic solution. Bashar al-Assad has an ally in Russia who will likely block any U.N. action, making it hard to form any truly international response. It seems likely to me that if the U.S. does not act, there will be no international action in response to the chemical weapons used late last month. As a person of good conscience, this alone could convince me to support the President's proposed action.

But I am not just a person of good conscience, I am also a person of faith. And as a person of faith, I cannot support this action. The center of my faith is Jesus, who is called the Prince of Peace. Jesus was executed by the state for showing God's love and never encouraged his disciples to fight for him. In fact, he said quite the opposite (Matthew 26:52). He taught his followers to love their enemies, to pray for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:44), and turn the other cheek (Luke 6:29). In light of this, I cannot believe that Jesus would have supported dropping bombs on Syria or, in fact, anyone else. If this were an act of last resort or to stop a truly evil man, I might allow that choosing war was the better of two evil choices. But I do not think either of those applies. This will not stop Bashar al-Assad and we are far from the realm of the last resort.

And so, in the name of the Prince of Peace, I must oppose this action. I invite your readers to join me and others in a chorus against this violent action by contacting our Congressional leaders and the President. Let us be a chorus for peace.

Shalom,

Rev. Joseph Feldmann,

Pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ

To the editor:

I am writing as a person of faith to argue against President Obama's proposed military action in Syria.

I understand that a good case can be made for the bombing the President is asking Congress to authorize. The use of chemical weapons is a horrible offense, against one of the very few mores regarding war that our world has established. The Geneva Convention action (which Syria has never signed, I will admit) that bans chemical weapons is almost 100 years old, so this is nothing new. Also, I harbor no illusions that there is an easy or maybe even reachable diplomatic solution. Bashar al-Assad has an ally in Russia who will likely block any U.N. action, making it hard to form any truly international response. It seems likely to me that if the U.S. does not act, there will be no international action in response to the chemical weapons used late last month. As a person of good conscience, this alone could convince me to support the President's proposed action.

But I am not just a person of good conscience, I am also a person of faith. And as a person of faith, I cannot support this action. The center of my faith is Jesus, who is called the Prince of Peace. Jesus was executed by the state for showing God's love and never encouraged his disciples to fight for him. In fact, he said quite the opposite (Matthew 26:52). He taught his followers to love their enemies, to pray for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:44), and turn the other cheek (Luke 6:29). In light of this, I cannot believe that Jesus would have supported dropping bombs on Syria or, in fact, anyone else. If this were an act of last resort or to stop a truly evil man, I might allow that choosing war was the better of two evil choices. But I do not think either of those applies. This will not stop Bashar al-Assad and we are far from the realm of the last resort.

And so, in the name of the Prince of Peace, I must oppose this action. I invite your readers to join me and others in a chorus against this violent action by contacting our Congressional leaders and the President. Let us be a chorus for peace.

Shalom,

Rev. Joseph Feldmann,

Pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ

 
 

 

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