This I Believe
I am a Christian who before President Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003, wrote to our legislators, pastors, and other Christians, that to invade Iraq preemptively would not only be immoral, but would not be What Jesus Would Do. Already by September 16, 2001, while attending my church, I feared that Christians were going to demand vengeance with blood through guns and bombs. Since then, each day I imagine Jesus asking me the following question: Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46
Now, here I am on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2007, telling my pastor and other Christians that the US cannot win in Iraq unless President Bush and other Christians, who supported him, confess that they sinned when they allowed the US to invade Iraq. Christians must experience regret and sadness for walking away from Christian principles. Then President Bush and all Christians must promise God and Jesus that we will turn in a new direction and practice hesed (love/mercy) and mishpat (justice) to all in the Middle East.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Maybe then, God will hear our pleas (including the pleas of families who have lost a loved one) and allow for a just resolution to the quagmire in which we find ourselves in Iraq. How was it possible for millions of Christians who attended church on September 16, 2001 to be led to believe that guns, bombs, and missiles with the shedding of blood would be the solution to September 11?
Did not Jesus and Paul both personally encounter terrible despots, yet even Jesus did not call for a preemptive strike on Palm Sunday while he had the people with him. What were Christians thinking when they encouraged President Bush to solve September 11 by preemptively invading Iraq, a country with a despot but who had nothing to do with 9/11?
Christians must confess their sins, begin to practice hesed and mishpat, and then perhaps God will heal our land and the Middle East, the lands where our religion (along with Judaism and Islam) began. This is what I believe.
May God turn his face to us and grant us shalom, salaam, and peace.
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