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God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Four from Spokane

posted by gp_intern

As Dean Sam Lloyd welcomed us to the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq service at the Washington National Cathedral, he began by saying that he had just heard the most amazing story. He told us of four people from Spokane, Washington, who were traveling to the Witness when they had an accident in Pennsylvania as their car hit a patch of ice and skidded into a truck. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and after having the car towed away, they hitchhiked the rest of the way to Washington, D.C.

It turned out that the four travelers mentioned were students from Whitworth College. They joined the service and march, and were then arrested with us, praying in front of the White House. One of the students, Zach Dahmen, told The Whitworthian student newspaper,

By participating in the movement, we wanted to show people that there’s a different face to Christianity. Not all Christians support the war. It’s not God-ordained … I’m pro-life, and so I don’t support the killing that’s going on in Iraq. As Christians, we can’t be hypocritical.

The Presbyterian News Service told more of the story.

Nicola Crawford, a student at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related Whitworth College in Spokane, WA, says that when she got an e-mail earlier this year about the March 16 Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, she “decided it’s something I believe in.”

And that’s about all it took to convince her and a couple of other Whitworth
students, Zach Dahmen and Michael Vander Giessen, to commit to driving 2,700
miles to Washington, D.C., the week before mid-term exams. They hooked up with Eric Colby, a 2006 graduate of the college now working as youth director at Spokane’s Knox Presbyterian Church, who offered his 2001 Toyota Camry for the cross-country trip.

For their persistence and determination, we thank and applaud the “four from Spokane.”



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Mike Hayes

posted March 24, 2007 at 6:05 am


And we also applaud those who spoke out against the US invasion of South Vietnam. Absent that opposition, how much longer would the US have remained there, looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel”?



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jurisnaturalist

posted March 24, 2007 at 6:06 pm


I too, applaud anything that can get today’s apathetic youth up out of their seats. We have so accepted the paradigm that the government will take care of everything that we see little incentive to do something ourselves. The next step is to find a way to welcome as many Iraqi refugees into our lives as possible. Nathanael Snow



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Will

posted March 24, 2007 at 8:05 pm


Wonderful story of hope! Thanks for highlighting these persistent ambassadors of Christ’s peace. May all be inspired by their example.



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Wolverine

posted March 24, 2007 at 9:03 pm


For comparison purposes, here’s the story of Cpl Jason Dunham, USMC …while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted March 24, 2007 at 9:19 pm


Zach Dahmen is quoted: I m pro-life, and so I don t support the killing that s going on in Iraq. As Christians, we can t be hypocritical. One can argue that the Iraq war is mistaken or even unjustified, but Mr. Dahmen is wrong to accuse war supporters of hypocrisy. It is not hypocrisy to make a distinction between warfare and abortion. Wolverine



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Carl Copas

posted March 25, 2007 at 9:59 pm


Sgt. Dunham paid the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of fellow Marines–in a war that our nation entered under cover of a web of deceit.



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David Wofford

posted March 25, 2007 at 11:56 pm


The story was quite an inspiration for a seminarian from Wilmore, KY. After two hours of sleep in two days (drove from central KY through the night) the people were invigorated. This story was an inspiration to us all. One week on, we must continue to pray for peace NOW, in Jesus’ name.



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c kitty

posted March 26, 2007 at 6:33 am


It is infuriating that a fine young man like Dunham had to breath his last in such a terrible situation. I hate the waste of good young lives for nothing more than a political power play. That’s why he was there and why he died. People have been going to war since the dawn of time, yet there is no peace. I believe Christ was trying to teach us that there is a better way. But like little kids on the playground, all we can think to do is hit back when we are offended. It is not a failure of God’s way, it is our failure to even try His way and come up with better solutions. To paraphrase a Great Philosopher — we have met the problem and he is us. As long as we keep trying to solve problems through violence, we will fail.One of the definitions of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over, but expect different results. Sure, there are differences betweem warfare and abortion — different claimed justifications, demonization of the target in warfare. We can kill a whole lot of people with just one bomb in warfare. We can learn to hate them and dehumanize them. They are collateral damage. Good luck trying to convince God of all that. He made it clear He loves us all. If all we can think of to do is go to war, then at least we should honestly admit it is our sin against God and failure to come up with a better idea. Instead, we proclaim that God must be on our side. At least most women having an abortion do not commit that hypocracy.



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moderatelad

posted March 26, 2007 at 3:34 pm


c kitty | 03.26.07 – 12:38 am | # People have been going to war since the dawn of time, yet there is no peace. We seem to have been able to establish peace with Germany and Japan. No one wants war – not even us evangelical conservative christians. But if someone did not understand that there are times when all other options have failed or are being ignored that armed conflict is the final act to settle the situation. There will not be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace returns. Also as long as a redical fraction of Islam is determined to take over and destroy all other religions in the world – there will be no peace. Later – .



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butch

posted March 26, 2007 at 5:52 pm


“People have been going to war since the dawn of time, yet there is no peace.” Yes, and there have been periods of relative peace or at least for the US. Moderated says as long as “radical factions of Islam” etc. There will always be some group who want to kill peace, they cannot be met will a gun AND have peace at the same time. They can be met with police work and brought to justice, not easy but Iraq isn’t easy. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have the money to finance 18 people willing to blow up something. Can we let this terrible delima cause us to go to war.



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butch

posted March 26, 2007 at 6:03 pm


At least most women having an abortion do not commit that hypocracy. c kitty Very good point, but don’t let the Republi-nazi’s confuse the issue of Iraq with the standard method of throwing in hot buttom issues to energize the base.



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moderatelad

posted March 26, 2007 at 7:17 pm


At least most women having an abortion do not commit that hypocracy. c kitty But the unborn have not committed a crime or killed anyone and they are still dead. the “A” and ‘war’ are two seperate issues in many ways. Later – .



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HASH(0x12e8ed88)

posted March 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm


And what crime was committed by the tens of thousands of Iraqi blown to bits by our shock and awe?



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HASH(0x12ab77dc)

posted March 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm


And what crime was committed by the tens of thousands of Iraqi blown to bits by our shock and awe?



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moderatelad

posted March 26, 2007 at 9:35 pm


Anonymous | 03.26.07 – 3:29 pm | # Your figures are off even by the Iraqis’ estimations. With your logic – more people will die in Darfur by our inaction than if we would act. Saddam and his henchmen killed hundred’s of thousands of innocent people and now he can not. God willing and if Teddy Kennedy will shut up – the Iraqi people may have their country back sooner rather than later and the killing will be able to stop. Sadly I think that Kennedy, Pelosi and Feinstein will screw this one up just like Teddy did with VN. Later – .



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Joy

posted March 26, 2007 at 10:39 pm


Yes, Saddam and his henchmen killed innocent people- with weapons we gave him. Jim Wallis and others had a non-violent alternative to war-one leaders wouldn’t listen to. there were alternative ways to remove Saddam from power without war. I repeat, Saddam only had weapons of mass destruction because we gave them to him when the US and Iraq were allies against Iran. If we would stop doing so much meddling in other countries internal affairs there might be a little more international peace in the world. It’s at least worth a try because we know war doesn’t work.



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butch

posted March 26, 2007 at 10:44 pm


The last I heard Nixon said we left Vietnam with honor. BTW, now that we are out of VN they are not run by a series of military strong men set up first by France then the US and their economy is doing very well. Actually a good place to invest right now.



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Barbara Gobrail

posted March 27, 2007 at 2:29 am


I was very moved watching the video of the prayer service from March 16. I am trying to locate the name of the opening song. The program that I downloaded from the Washington Cathedral website has a different entrance hymn. I am interested in the one that talks about Hebrews 12:1 “We are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses!”



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Payshun

posted March 27, 2007 at 3:54 am


Several presidents screwed up Vietnam all on their own. Kennedy had little to do w/ that. p



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moderatelad

posted March 27, 2007 at 4:10 am


butch | 03.26.07 – 4:49 pm | # Actually a good place to invest right now. After you kill off all the people that disagreed with you and have only those that think the way you want them to think – things should settle down. They could only get better since the Viet Cong destroyed most of what was working for the south. Give me a country to subvert and murder freely those who oppose me and I will make an Eden. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted March 27, 2007 at 4:17 am


Joy | 03.26.07 – 4:44 pm | # with weapons we gave him. Your point being… The US has given military hardware to many countries around the world and they have them for their ‘protection’. Saddam decided to use them against his own people and we are to feel that it is our fault? Please…! People change – what is it absolute power corupts absolutly. Since many on this site have made the compairson of Bush = Saddam, when has Bush use chemical weapons against americans? (comments about the 2000 election do not count) Later – .



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moderatelad

posted March 27, 2007 at 4:22 am


Barbara Gobrail | 03.26.07 – 8:34 pm | # We are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses!” Looking down into the National Cathedral thinking – what are they talking about…asking for a withdrawl so that more defenceless people can be killed. So that more mothers in the Mideast can teach their children to use bombs and kill themselves – what kind of mothers are they? Please people – go home I think that is what the crowd of wittnesses are saying. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted March 27, 2007 at 4:42 am


Payshun | Homepage | 03.26.07 – 9:59 pm | # Jack Kennedy was warned by Eisnhower not to get directly involved with V-N. LBJ took the reigns saying that if Goldwater got in the White House – he would take us to was. LBJ did take us to war. Goldwater would have gone in there and taken out the military reserved of North VN so that they had to surender. (remember the ‘proportional’ garbage that Sojo talks about is just that – Garbage) Nixon took too long to get us out of VN. Then Teddy Kennedy dismantled the Paris Accords so that we could not fulfill our obligation to South VN that we promised. Teddy is riding high again on Iraq – you just watch that guy, too much booze has pickled his brain. Roll a Scotch bottle down the halls of the Senate – Teddy will tackle it. Later – .



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c kitty

posted March 27, 2007 at 5:57 am


moderatelad — Feinstein, Kennedy and Pelosi can’t mess things up in Iraq, the Republicans alrady beat them to it. The bloody figures in Iraq range from 60,000 (even by the WH) to 600,000. How many isn’t too many? And how many is too many of our young people being killed and maimed doing old men’s dirty work just because it’s easier to act tough than to be smart?



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Elmer Gantry

posted March 27, 2007 at 6:06 am


Moderatelad!! Stop stop!!! I’m nearly wetting myself I’m laughing so hard at your caricatures of history!!!



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moderatelad

posted March 27, 2007 at 2:45 pm


Elmer Gantry | 03.27.07 – 12:11 am | # Depends Later – .



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moderatelad

posted March 27, 2007 at 3:02 pm


c kitty | 03.27.07 – 12:02 am | # And how many is too many of our young people being killed and maimed doing old men’s dirty work just because it’s easier to act tough than to be smart? How do you access WWII, Civic War, etc. Did we kill just the correct amount for you tastes? How many more people were we to let Saddam kill. Do you have any feelings for all the ‘c kitty’ women in Iraq that would die if their daughter could have the freedoms that you have? This is why I am becoming an isolationist because the majority of the american people don’t give a $%& for other oppressed people in the world. Sure – they talk about how bad it is and that something should be done. They will even send a deligation over to talk so that they feel good. As all of this is going on, the killing continues, they flip off the UN sanctions, they subvert sanctions with other countries and make money under the table. Yes – talking has been so successful in the past. This is why we should stay home, bring our military home from Germany, Japan and other parts of the world and not get involved. Our talking gives the illusion of caring but when push comes to shove – we will not step up to the plate. If someone does – they are blasted by the peace-niks. Let’s just make it official – we stay home because we will not pay the cost for our brothers and sisters. Yes – we are our borther’s keeper – just won’t get down to assist them in their freedom. I am not just talking about Iraq, I will throw Darfur, the oppressed people in North Korea, 7+ other countries in Africa, etc. Stay home with Sojo! Later – .



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HASH(0x13390f40)

posted March 28, 2007 at 1:24 am


Moderatelad– We did not go into Iraq with even the pretense of doing it to save Iraqi lives. It was all about us. Our hands are dirty. In case you don’t get it, no amount of killing is accepatable in God’s eyes.



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HASH(0x12e9a390)

posted March 28, 2007 at 1:24 am


Moderatelad– We did not go into Iraq with even the pretense of doing it to save Iraqi lives. It was all about us. Our hands are dirty. In case you don’t get it, no amount of killing is accepatable in God’s eyes.



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Adam Walker Cleaveland

posted March 28, 2007 at 5:46 am


I am proud to say that I am a Whitworth College alumni after hearing this story. Sometimes I’m not as glad I was a Religion Major from the school because of some of the professor’s and student’s positions on issues, but this is some good press for Whitworth!



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Zach Dahmen

posted March 28, 2007 at 8:40 am


So uh yeah… I am one of the four students from Whitworth of which this is about. I was just emailed that this was put up on here. I’m just happy to mentioned in the way bigger picture of what happened and what is happening. I also understand that some of what I said can be seen as very divisive.I do stand behind what I said but, what I meant to say about being pro-life is that I am wholelistically pro-life. Meaning that I can not reconcile being against and or even lobbying my governement to change a law about abortion; the act of killing an un-born child and not also be against the unjust killing that happens in war. For me personally that is hypicritical. I do not make a distinction between unjust killing. And for me to say it is hypicritical of everyone, I don’t think I have that authority. My school paper just may have made it seem that way. Thank you for caring though



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moderatelad

posted March 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm


Anonymous | 03.27.07 – 7:29 pm | # There were so many issues that were talked about Iraq and why there needed to be regime change. The Kennedy Crowd has fixated on the WMD’s and that is their major if not only issues. (hey Teddy – getting a little low on the Vodka?) In case you don’t get it… I get it – and with that type of logic we had no business going to war in Europe in WWII. That is why I say “Stay Home with Sojo”. We are our brothers keeper – so let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about needs to be done. When that fails we should just find another area of the world that we can talk more about. As long as our lilly white backsides are comfortable, they do not attack the USA directly, even if it is directly…just dismiss it as we deserve what we get from the rest of the world. Let the UN do the work. SO – “Stay Home with Sojo” Later – .



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Wolverine

posted March 29, 2007 at 4:32 am


Zach, Thanks for writing and explaining. Wolverine



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c kitty

posted March 29, 2007 at 6:00 am


The point is not that we do nothing, but that we are supposed to find a way to do better.We are supposed to find a way to live that doesn’t include blowing up other people. If we don’t find a better way, then at least we have to admit it is our faliure to live by God’s rules.In part, it is the ease with which we rationalize killing others that prevents us from trying to do better.



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moderatelad

posted March 29, 2007 at 2:36 pm


c kitty | 03.29.07 – 12:05 am | # So when has the US and our Allies gone out into the world and blown up people in other countries just for the heck of it? When have we sent airplanes full of innocent passengers into tall buildings only to kill thousands more because we could? When has the US or England asked their military to bomb nightclubs filled with vacationing people from other countries. When was the last time that Germany or France blew up ancient monuments of former cultures that lived in their countries centuries ago? WHEN have we attacked another country without provocation before diplomacy was first tried? So if we fail, then we are to admit our failure and allow them to attack and kill us without any defense? Later – .



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Ken Aven

posted March 31, 2007 at 5:40 am


First off, my daughter is a Whitworth student. One of the reasons she chose the school was its broad Christian outlook versus other Christian schools that seem to indoctrinate and not trust the thinking of the students. Although I myself am a pro choice Christian I applaud Zach’s stand. It is amazing to me that many of my brethren are so strongly anti abortion and yet do not lose a wink of sleep over the scores of people in Iraq who are slaughtered on a daily basis. These same pro lifers are generally pro gun, pro death penalty, and anti full funding of schools and other community activities that might help young people to live fulfilling lives. Once again, Zach saw through much of this hypocrisy and lived his life as a witness to the truth as he sees it. What a commendable position.



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