The War on Iraq
There are serious questions as to whether or not the United States and its allies are fighting a just war, if this is understood using traditional Christian criteria. Jimmy Carter's op-ed piece in the New York Times is the most succinct analysis of this question. Other issues deserving our ethical reflection include: praying for our enemies, not equating national interests with God's will, and the Christian call to peacemaking.
Praying for the Enemy Uwe Reinhardt in the New York Times, 22 March 2003
Ready for the Peace? Bob Herbert in the New York Times, 20 March 2003
D-Day Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, 19 March 2003
An Alternative to War for Defeating Saddam Hussain 18 March 2003
Just War - or Just a War? Jimmy Carter, 9 March 2003
Saying No to War Editorial in the New York Times, 9 March 2003
To find prayers for peace, go here.
To contribute to humanitarian relief for war refugees, go here.
To email your views to Congress, click here.
In response to attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, the United States has declared war on terrorism and is organizing a coalition of nations to support attacks on countries that harbor terrorists. How are Christians to respond? The following materials are offered to help Christians face this challenge to their faith.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers worship and Christian education materials, examples of how congregations have responded to the war on terrorism, and a pastoral letter sent by the General Assembly Council after September 11th.
Sermons by Robert Traer
Deliver Us from Evil 9 March 2003
Call to Christian Citizenship 6 October 2002
Whose Promised Land? 28 July 2002
One Nation Under God? 21 July 2002
† From The Sin of Hypocrisy - As good Americans, we must confront the hypocrisy of our nation. President Bush said on Friday, "we must rid the world of evil." The notion that America is good, and those who hate it are evil is not only self-serving but wrong. Terrorism is evil, and the killing of innocent persons is evil. But the growing impoverishment of the majority of the world's peoples is also evil, and the violence and suffering that America is about to unleash in order to exact retribution for its suffering and shame will also be evil. Justice is good, but acts of vengeance are evil.
Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost loved ones, and we pray that the souls of all those who died may rest in peace. But we also pray for those who are so filled with hate for America, because of the transfer of wealth and power from their lands to the West and particularly to America, that they gladly sacrifice their own lives in violent acts that they understand as just retribution. And we pray that Christians in America will resist calls for vengeance and will remember the sins of the past that come with self-righteous anger, so these tragic acts of violence might not be repeated in our own time.
† From Call to Repentance (a dialogue sermon)
Bob: Christian faith require us to face our complicity in evil, rather than simply attributing evil to those who are easily identified as evildoers. In faith, rather than judging others, we are called to ask how we have contributed to the circumstances in which others have done evil.
Sarah: You mean we might bear some responsibility for crime and terrorism?
Bob: That’s right. Crime in our cities is partly a reaction to our complicity in a society that values greed and materialistic life. And the terrorist attacks on America are partly a response to our indifference to the suffering and humiliation resulting from the expansion of American power and wealth in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Sarah: Surely, criminals and terrorists should be held responsible for their actions.
Bob: Absolutely. But as American Christians, we are called to confess our sin — for depleting the earth’s resources for our own convenience, for ignoring the injustice suffered by so many millions of the earth’s peoples, and for not supporting justice through international law and global cooperation. We are called to confess our sin, to receive God’s forgiveness, and to repent by doing all we can to preserve the earth and to support the rule of law throughout the world.
Israel and Palestine
Writing from Jerusalem, Robert Traer reflects on the conflicts between Jews, Muslims, and Christians and the search for an alternative to the present warfare.
1 in Faith: A Christian Bible Study † Copyright © 2000 by Robert Traer