Our Commitment: A Call to the Christian Community
A commitment to expand the Christian-based movement to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq
Yes we can…
end the war and occupation in Iraq responsibly and completely
Like the women at the empty tomb, we hear the angel’s words, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” In faith we seek to end our senseless habit of looking to war and destruction as the path to security, and to trust instead in the power of life and hope to lead us finally to peace. We applaud President Obama’s commitment to abide by the deadline of the bilateral withdrawal agreement (SOFA), to withdraw combat troops within 19 months, and to remove all troops by the end of 2011. We gather to give Christian witness in support of this direction toward a just and lasting peace in Iraq. At the same time we believe that leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq at the end of 2010 will not make for peace. We also recognize there are many pressures to continue military occupation and domination, propagating an ideology of fear and enmity, and so our witness to a theology of hope and life and our insistence on a responsible and complete withdrawal is all the more imperative at this time.
Yes we can …
support an Iraqi-led international effort to rebuild Iraq and care for five million Iraqis displaced due to the war
Like the prophet Isaiah, we believe that God is about to create new heavens and new earth, where no more shall the sound of weeping be heard, nor an infant that lives but a few days, where they shall build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. We believe this promise holds true for the people of Iraq, and as people of faith, we are called to work for its fulfillment. We recognize that such a scenario requires a deep shift in policy, investment and rhetoric. The people of Iraq are the hope and future of Iraq. In the United States we have a moral obligation to acknowledge the tragedy we have wrought with this war, and to follow Iraqi leadership in crafting an international effort on behalf of refugees and those internally displaced because of the war, as well as to provide funding and support for Iraqi-led humanitarian efforts to rebuild the country. Even after we achieve a true end to the war, as people of compassion and responsibility, we must not forget the continuing suffering of the people of Iraq, with particular concern for the most vulnerable.
Yes we can …
support our troops by bringing them home safely and providing for physical, mental and spiritual healing
Like the prophet Jeremiah we lament, “For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt. Is there no balm in Gilead? Why has the health of my people not been restored?” We commit to a ministry of healing and justice for those who have served in our armed forces and for their families. We will pray for our troops and their loved ones, welcome them home into our communities and our churches with love and respect, and honor their lives as we protest having put them in harms’ way. We call upon our government to provide generous support and protection for active duty soldiers, for veterans, and for their families. As individuals and as a nation, we have a moral obligation to offer resources and loving care to help them all heal from their physical, mental and spiritual wounds and to rebuild their lives.
- Iraq War Veterans Organization, Inc. For information from vets, including message boards of people living with people who have PTSD.
- "Coming Home from Conflict" on post-traumatic stress disorder
Yes we can …
end all use of torture of any person held anywhere
Jesus said that whatever is done to the least of our brothers and sisters is done to him, and so today, hidden in dark cells and secret prisons, he is tortured still. We celebrate President Obama's Executive Order Banning Torture and we insist that the legal and human rights of all detainees, no matter where they are held, be honored. We call on the Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies to ensure that all interrogation techniques be made public and comply with the "golden rule" (acceptable if used on a captured U.S. citizen). We call on Congress to establish a commission and hold accountable those responsible for prisoner abuse, and pass legislation to make the torture ban permanent law.
- No2Torture For curriculum in poster form with a series of pertinent scripture verses
- "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" This film, directed by Rory Kennedy, was recently nominated for four Emmy awards.
Yes we can …
promote regional stability through diplomacy with Iran and Afghanistan
We are called by the Apostle Paul to die to our old selves of sin, aggression and domination and rise to be a new creation in Christ, as his ambassadors of reconciliation. Charged with a ministry of reconciliation, we affirm the gospel claim that no relationship, however strained, is beyond redemption. It is time to end our illogical pursuit of peace through war, and to lead in efforts of international diplomacy and development aid. The importance of avoiding a war with Iran cannot be overstated. Negotiating with insurgents in Afghanistan could avoid creating more militants and another protracted occupation. We gather to call our nation to metanoia (conversion), an authentic change of direction, in which the security of our country and the welfare of the citizens of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan can be harmonized.
Yes we can …
work for peace and justice in Iraq and security and wellbeing at home
Like Simon Peter, we hear the risen Lord ask, “Do you love me?” When we answer, “Yes,” he commands us, “Feed my sheep.” We join together in working for God’s reign to end hunger, poverty, racism, and injustice across the land. Therefore we commit to make the connections between war abroad and poverty at home and between local and global violence, and to work to end racism and all oppressions. We call our government to fully and justly fund human needs at home. We will put our faith into action in front of the White House, as we gather and bless thousands of loaves of bread for the hungry of our nation. We will pray and act to become a nation that funds human needs and programs of social uplift over armaments and military action, and through our conversion, we will experience the promise of resurrection and new life.
This is a kairos moment;
we are called to be witnesses of the living Christ!