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God's Politics

Duane Shank: More Than 200 Arrested in Christian Peace Witness

posted by gp_intern

With much hard work and prayer – and despite frigid temperatures with rain and sleet – the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq was a moving and inspiring event. More than 3,000 people gathered at the Washington National Cathedral and then walked in a candlelight procession nearly four miles to Lafayette Park across from the White House, where more than 500 additional people (who had watched the service in an overflow location at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church) joined them. While the main group of people continued walking around the White House with candles, more than 200 crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to pray on the sidewalk and were arrested.

An Associated Press story was printed in more than 200 publications around the country, and there was a good AP video, Christians pray, march for peace. Other news services included United Press International and Cox News. The Washington Post and National Public Radio ran pieces on Saturday morning. The New York Times included two sentences in a longer story about Saturday’s protest at the Pentagon. And the service was covered by CNN and Local News on Fox 5 in D.C. – thanks to Katie Barge of Faith in Public Life for YouTubing these! Watch them here:


Fox 5:

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kevin s.

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Newsflash: Publicity stunt generates publicity.

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posted March 20, 2007 at 12:26 am

Kevin, Don’t you think Americans need a break once and a while from constant hyper-sensational violence, sex and greed driven material consumption? Just a brief 20 second teevee sound bite showing Americans praying for peace and committing to work for it is not too much in bad taste, now it it? Do you think Peace will ever become a bipartisan effort, Kevin? Thanks to Duane and friends for the media slices. . .

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Kris Weinschenker

posted March 20, 2007 at 3:59 am

How much time did any of the arrested spend in jail before the lawyers/pedophiles for them got them out on bail?

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posted March 20, 2007 at 4:37 am

Pedophiles? .

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kevin s.

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:37 am

“How much time did any of the arrested spend in jail before the lawyers/pedophiles for them got them out on bail?” The way this is worded, it sounds as though pedophiles representing lawyers are getting the lawyers out on bail, which is an amusing thought.”Just a brief 20 second teevee sound bite showing Americans praying for peace and committing to work for it is not too much in bad taste, now it it?” It was a publicity stunt, nonetheless. If these people were tear-gassed (or worse), their protest might merit the back-patting we see here. Instead, all they really got was air-time at taxpayer’s expense.

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posted March 20, 2007 at 6:25 am

I’m sorry I was one of the people who chose to come to WashDC at my own expense to testify to my opposition to the war and desire that the US would demonstrate deep remorse over what we have wrought in Iraq. I wish the organizers would have focused less on getting US troops out of Iraq and more on the need for all of us in the US to show remorse over what we have wrought in Iraq. From my conversations with a wide range of people, I find more consensus on the need to repent for either making the regime-change or how we handled it than what now we should do. On my way back from WashDC, I was sitting by a woman from Saudi Arabia who is a college student in Wisconsin. We agreed that it really is up to the Iraqis to decide to work out their conflicts without war. I don’t think the US can make that happen, but I do think that if we fasted and mourned for a week at least over Iraq that it would send the Iraqis and the world the right signal. I hope we can still do that. dlw

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posted March 20, 2007 at 1:55 pm

dlw: I completely agree. Abraham Lincoln called for a day of fasting, humiliation, and repentance in March 1863–exactly 144 years ago. America needs to humble itself, or else God will see to it that we are humbled. I racall the “Power of Pride” bumper stickers after 9/11. I wonder how many who put that sticker on their vehicles know what scripture says about pride: “He has scattered the proud in the imaginations of their hearts”–Luke 1:51. “God resists the proud but gives grace to th humble.”–I Peter 5:5. We need to repent as a nation. We need to humble ourselves. We should have done this on September 12, 2001, but God has been gracious to us and we still have time to put ourselves right with God. Anyone who thinks this is the wrong response should read Martin Luther’s “On War Against The Turk.” Peace,

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posted March 20, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Must confess this really brings to mind the story of the princess and the pea. cheers, Paul

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posted March 20, 2007 at 5:52 pm

Can anyone clarify the ‘civil disobedience’ for me. Did they feel civil disobedience was necessary to protest the regulations on protests? I just did not understand. Frankly, I am not sure where I stand on the best course of action in Iraq. I will say I am profoundly more interested in listening to persons who can advocate their positions without demonizing those with opposing views.

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posted March 20, 2007 at 6:02 pm

pjhannam, Very well put. I hope you get meaningful answers. cheers, Paul

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posted March 20, 2007 at 7:31 pm

I agree with pjhannam. I chose not to go to the war protests here in Seattle because of the negative attitudes of the protesters on Sunday. I regret not going on Monday though, after seeing the largely positive, and faith-filled rally. What I witnessed on Sunday was a large group with mostly “Impeach Bush” signs, and anti-conservative literature. While there is certainly a time and a place to protest the government, if necessary, it seems as if the anniversary of the Iraq war is not quite appropriate. The memorial for the lost civilians and soldiers turned into an angry, we-hate-republicans crowd. It is sad, I think, when we focus more on anger toward certain elected officials than the actual injustice. It is easy to become blinded by our own anger and lose sight of the people that really matter.

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posted March 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm

America is stronger than the efforts of a few communists posing as “christians”. Peace starts with the end of Islamic Terror.

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posted March 21, 2007 at 1:30 am

we do indeed live in a great country. where people of all walks and faiths can speak freely. this freedom did not come easily and we should not take it for granted.

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posted March 21, 2007 at 2:19 am

The civil disobedience was for approaching the WH and standing before it in testimony to their belief that our involvement in the war was morally wrong. I don’t think the point was that this rule is a bad rule, but rather that by being willing to get arrested, the leaders showed the extent of their belief that the war in Iraq was wrong. Some people, a minority, had signs about impeaching Bush, but it wasn’t a partisan affair, as you can read. Though I do hope that we can call for a week of fasting and mourning, as I have had people of a variety of persuasions agree that that would be a good thing. Also, we need to remember that others have it a lot worse than we do when it comes to protesting their gov’t. In Ukraine, the gov’t is clamping down seriously on people who are pressing openly for a continuation of the reforms that were supposed to be ushered in with the Orange Revolution. dlw

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Mike Hayes

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:41 am

My guess is that Martin Luther King would approve.

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posted March 21, 2007 at 7:18 am

Anyone who thinks that this was an example of courage does not have a clue what real courage is. For examples of true courage see: Andrei Sakharov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, etc. Or how about Paul who in 2 Cor 11:24-25 mentions that “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned. . . and not once did he deliberately try to break some silly trivial rule in order to draw attention to himself. For these people to try to show themselves as being hard done by for receiving a $100 fine, is a joke.These are what I was refering earlier to as pseudo-dissidents. cheers, Paul

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David W. Reid

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:35 pm

When I opened my local paper on Saturday and read this lead from the AP: “Thousands of Christians prayed for peace,” I shouted for joy. Far too often, the word “Christian” is reserved for those on the Religious Right and a march for peace is reported as having been organized by “church people,” among others.This was a Christian peace activity. Be happy that it was reported as such. David W. Reid Publisher Vital Theology

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