God's Politics

God's Politics


A Surge of Prayers (by Jim Wallis)

posted by gp_intern

The great fall debate on Iraq has begun. Several much-anticipated reports on the success of the war (or lack thereof) have started to arrive in the nation’s capital, which will be followed by the most contentious of congressional debates. This week, a GAO (Government Accountability Office) report suggested that daily attacks against civilians in Iraq have remained “about the same” since the Bush administration began its troop “surge” that added 20,000 more combat troops on the ground. It painted a bleak political and security portrait of the situation in Iraq by concluding that Iraq has met only three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress.
Another report, by an independent commission, is due out today, and according to news reports, it will say that the Iraqi police are “incapable” of protecting neighborhoods and that it will be at least 12-18 months before the Iraqi army can maintain the country’s security. Anticipating an epic showdown with Congress, President Bush made an unanticipated visit to Iraq this week to herald the progress he claims his surge had made in places like Anbar province.
Next week, Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, will report to Congress on the progress of the troop “surge” and the war effort in general. That report promises to catalyze an intense national debate on the floor of the U.S Congress, in the media, and across the nation. Is it time to end the war? If so, how? Or should we persevere until we “win” the war? And what would that mean?
It will be a great debate on what is clearly a life-and-death issue for both Americans and Iraqis. It is a debate in which much is at stake. All next week, this blog will be focusing on Iraq and the future of this war, which has become such a disaster.
But as people of faith, we believe the place to start is prayer. Only prayer can soften hearts and open the way to peace and reconciliation. So, as General Petraeus testifies, we’re planning to match his surge with one of our own – 20,000 prayers for Congress to bring an end to this war.
While the Bush administration has frequently abused the language of religion to justify this disastrous war, a growing number of Christians from across the theological and political spectrum are coming together to oppose it.
Last March, to commemorate the fourth anniversary of this disastrous war, Christians filled Washington National Cathedral to witness to their faith, in opposition to this war. On that occasion, I said:
“I believe it will take faith to end this war. It will take prayer to end it. It will take a mobilization of the faith community to end it – to change the political climate, to change the wind. It will take a revolution of love to end it, because this endless war in Iraq is based ultimately on fear, and the Bible tells us that only perfect love will cast out fear. And to cast out that fear, we must act in faith, in prayer, in love, and in hope – so we might help to heal the fears that keep this war going….
“All of this must be wrapped in the power of prayer. Because we believe that God can still work miracles in and through our prayers – and that prayer followed by action can turn valleys of despair into mountains of hope. God has acted before in history and we believe that God will act again through us.”
So we would like to begin this great debate with prayer. Prayers for peace and prayers for the wisdom and courage to end this war in the ways that are most protective of human life, especially of the innocent. Our nation’s political leaders are listening to the faith community as never before. We’ve spoken to several members of Congress who are considering reading a selection of your prayers for peace into the Congressional Record.
Like many of you, I’ve opposed this war from the start, and together we’ve raised a prophetic voice against it–marching in the streets, writing letters, and much more.
We’ll continue to do all of that, but I believe it will also take faith to end this war. It will take prayer to end it. So this week, as we prepare for the debate, we want to offer our prayers to Congress, prayers to members of Congress who even disagree about the war, prayers for wisdom to know and courage to do the right thing.
Will you be a part of this surge of prayer for peace? Click here to let your senators and representatives know that you’re praying for them.
In times such as these, we ought to remember the words of the apostle Paul:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)



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Ben Wheaton

posted September 6, 2007 at 2:16 pm


The best way to end this war justly (that is, with the least loss of life and the most acceptable government in place) is to keep Coalition forces there in sufficient numbers until the Iraqis can stand on their own. This is an issue of morality, and Wallis and company are on the wrong side of it.



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Moderatelad

posted September 6, 2007 at 3:29 pm


‘…we believe the place to start is prayer. Only prayer can soften hearts and open the way to peace and…’
Been praying for peace since before it started. I believe the big difference is that I have been praying for victory and a free and independant Iraq. From everything that I have read that you have written – it isn’t just peace you seek – it is failure. If Iraq could end up worse off than it was under Saddam – I think you and people like you would crack open the bubblie and toast to success.
So – I will be joining you in prayer but do not think that we will be knocking on Heavens Door with the same request.
I will also go on record that even if the report from Gen Petraeus gives us an A+ and tells us that the surge is working – you will not believe it because you do not believe that Bush is the Pres. because of the way he ‘won’ the election.
So Jim – you can be writing your articles and response today because you don’t need to be concerned about the message to congress.
Put the bottle on ice Jim – your outcome is assured.
‘…next week, this blog will be focusing on Iraq and the future of this war..’
SO what is different about next week that has not been going on this site for the past months?
Blessings -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 6, 2007 at 4:17 pm


I believe the big difference is that I have been praying for victory and a free and independent Iraq. From everything that I have read that you have written – it isn’t just peace you seek – it is failure. If Iraq could end up worse off than it was under Saddam – I think you and people like you would crack open the bubblie and toast to success.



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Beth Owen

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:00 pm


The previous 2 comments express why we all need to stop and pray. There is so much anger and a lack of listening in both, that here on this site, there is a bit more war, rather than a bit more peace. To Moderatelad I say, I appreciate that you have prayed for victory and an Iraq that is better off than prior to Saddam’s reign. I think we would all like that. I also believe that if the majority of the evidence from all of the reports coming out leaned even a bit to the side that the surge was bringing that peace, I think many people who currently want the war to end as soon as possible, would reconsider. Please pray that we as an American people will see through any rhetoric on the left or right and look for the answer that provides the best future for Iraq and protects the most life. Have faith that God can reach us. To Rick Nowlin, please breathe and try to see God in everyone. I strongly believe that we should not be in Iraq, but if we can’t listen with love to the differing opinions here in this country, how on earth can we listen to the wide variety of opinions in the world and create peace there.
Peace,
Beth



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Moderatelad

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:10 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | September 6, 2007 4:17 PM
So – when I am knockin on heavens door for my friends wife who has cancer and asking the Almighty for a cure. I’m dictating and a Idolator and my prayers are wasted…just so I have it straight.
Your ‘rick-o-pedia’ is a little off today.
Please for your sake – don’t respond to my posts. There are others on here that are your groopies, talk to them.
later – (I will not respond anymore – period)
.



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Milton Leake

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:11 pm


I have been against this war since it was first evident that President Bush was talking about overthrowing Saddam Hussein. I especially was appalled when he established the policy of a preemptive attack. AS a retired nuclear submariner, our mission was to serve as a deterrent to nuclear war and to only launch our missiles in retaliation to a strike by the Soviet Union.
I believe we have a moral responsibility to assure that there is a reasonably stable society in Iraq before we withdraw our troops. What we started, we must finish. We cannot arbitrarily pull out and leave the middle east to implode. The turnover of security to the Iraqi armed forces and police must occur so a phased withdrawal of our troops can begin. Who knows how long this will take? We need to resist the drum beat of those who clamor for immediate withdrawal. Don’t let the terrible mistake of unilaterally attacking Iraq be compounded by a civil war between Muslim sects.
As Christians we have a responsibility to care for others as we care for ourselves. Caring for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and other trouble spots in the world is a mark of a Christian society.



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squeaky

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Moderatelad,
“I will also go on record that even if the report from Gen Petraeus gives us an A+ and tells us that the surge is working – you will not believe it”
I would also add that if the General gives us an F that Bush will still believe the surge is working.
Now, in the issue of fairness, you looked down on Wallis’ prayers and then got upset when Nowlin did it to you.
However, in the issue of absolute fairness, Rick, that was far too harsh and completely unnecessary.
Can’t we all just get along? Sheesh, guys.



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Dadman

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:39 pm


Squeaky,
Good job of clearing the air. We can get along, it is just very had to agree to disagree.
What is the word Sheesh? Is it like a gosh a slur of my lords name? If it is I’m very offended.



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Pray-er

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:47 pm


>>In times such as these, we ought to remember the words of the apostle Paul:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)



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Moderatelad

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:48 pm


Posted by: squeaky | September 6, 2007 5:22 PM
‘…you looked down on Wallis’ prayers…’
I don’t that I looked down – I am just praying to the Almighty for a different outcome. From the articles he has written – I can not remember one time where he said or thought there could be a positive outcome. He can pray all he wants to and ask whatever he wants of the Almighty. God will hear both of our prayers (evidently not mine according to some) and will answer in His good time.
Can’t we all just get along?
Yes – because I will just not ‘argue’ with a certain person ever again – period.
Have a great evening!
.



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allen wall

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:53 pm


“God helps those who help themselves.” WE, THE PEOPLE are “God’s hands.” “A SURGE OF PRAYERS”? BETTER A SURGE OF ACTIVISTS, PROTESTORS AND VOTERS “Rendering to Caesar” jU$tice that Caesar deserves!



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DeWayne Benson

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:57 pm


I pray daily for leaders,for Gods Kingdom now in heaven to be established on earth, however I have read the book and know when and how this will happen.
It is not possible for a nation of people and their Christian leaders not to realize our way of life depends heavily upon foriegn policies and vast importations from Third World peoples, many like Iraq that somehow has (our) oil beneath their soil.
I pray that soon the true church in America speaks out against the evil found among many leaders in America, especially within the Christian church, and false prophets and teacher’s such as the secular-Zionist apologist’s are revealed for their error.



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kevin s.

posted September 6, 2007 at 5:58 pm


“Everything you said was just plain ignorant.”
So is this..
“As far as I’m concerned, your prayers are wasted because you’re not talking to God but dictating to Him what you think should be done — and that’s idolatry.”
Prayers are requests, not dictation. Moderatelad is not demanding victory in Iraq to believe in God’s power, so it is not idolatry. Victory in Iraq would be a peaceful country that would bring stability to the region, and an end to the death and destruction. There is absolutely no reason not to pray for that.



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Elkin Brown

posted September 6, 2007 at 6:01 pm


This carping at one another and questioning one other’s validity of faith because of political disagreement (most of it coming from the right end of the spectrum, but all of it presumably from professing Christians) is one reason why I am an agnostic.
No, we CAN’T all get along, as long as there are people who claim to have a hot line to the will of the Almighty.



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squeaky

posted September 6, 2007 at 6:05 pm


Dadman,
Hmmm…what is “sheesh”, indeed? I suppose, it, like most slang terms (heck, jeepers, jeez, shucks, darn, dang) is a milder and parent-accepted version of their harsher counterpart-explitives commonly referred to in our culture as swear words or, rather, curse words, or in the southern colloquialism “cuss” words.
Now, while its actual etymology and origin has yet to be fully ascertained by linguists, and since I am not one such said linguist, my best determination of the evolution of the word “sheesh” goes something like this:
sheesh came from jeesh, which is derived from jeez, which is derived from, yes, more than likely, Jesus. Note, however, I have not explored the “jeepers” connection, nor do I know if “jeepers” falls along this etymological branch at all. Perhaps “jeepers” and “jeez” co-evoloved. Or perhaps “jeepers” only came about because it rhymed with “creepers” and “peepers” and therefore had the makings of good pop tune.
This is also not to say that “sheesh” perhaps has its origin a bit more directly with the word, well, this is a Christian forum, so let’s just say “poo”, shall we? It is also possible that two etymological lines converged–one originating with “jeez” and a second originating with, umm, “poo”, and perhaps they are therefore a sort of “hybrid”.
In light of this research, I do believe an apology is in order, as the alternative origins discussed notwithstanding, “sheesh” more than likely is ultimately a slur of the Lord’s name. In which case, I apologize heartily for my offense.



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squeaky

posted September 6, 2007 at 6:14 pm


Elkin,
“This carping at one another and questioning one other’s validity of faith because of political disagreement (most of it coming from the right end of the spectrum, but all of it presumably from professing Christians) is one reason why I am an agnostic.
Well, good point–we don’t seem to be able to get along, even when we claim to all be Christians. However, I do hope you have better reasons than that for professing agnosticism. Christianity does, afterall, have its answer to our hypocrisy right in our very own doctrine–we are all broken and fall short of the glory of God. This carping you and I have both decried is ultimately a result of our broken human natures.
“No, we CAN’T all get along, as long as there are people who claim to have a hot line to the will of the Almighty.”
Perhaps, then, this statement would more accurately be rendered that we can’t all get along as long as we are all HUMAN. Aye, there’s the true rub, is it not?



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neuro_nurse

posted September 6, 2007 at 6:20 pm


“God helps those who help themselves” allen wall
Allen,
Can you tell me exactly where in the Bible I might find that verse?
Let me save you some time: it’s not there!



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squeaky

posted September 6, 2007 at 6:22 pm


Anyway–now that I have gone off track, let me attempt to get back on.
“Prayers for peace and prayers for the wisdom and courage to end this war in the ways that are most protective of human life, especially of the innocent. ”
I would think that no matter what we believe about the validity of the war, how the war is going, or what we should do next, we should all be able to agree with the above statement. So, enough of this judging of each other’s prayers–all our prayers have the above goal, do they not? Nothing in the above statement dicates how that prayer should be answered. and honestly, I can’t say what the best way would be either–continue the surge or leave? I see no good choice in either of those alternatives. Maybe there is another alternative that has yet to be put on the table? I don’t know. This is why our leadership needs wisdom, and of that we can all agree to pray for. Regardless of your political stripe or thoughts about this war, we can all agree we would like to see it come to a positive outcome, and in that, our hearts can be united.



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Junehill

posted September 6, 2007 at 6:58 pm


As Squeaky says, “enough of this judging of each other’s prayers.” It’s encouraging to see commenters sort of work it out, after Jim Wallis’s simplistic blog. I know his heart is in the right place, but religion and politics don’t mix well. We are sojourners in the city of Cain, after all.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 6, 2007 at 7:11 pm


later – (I will not respond anymore – period)
Could we pray that for once, you will actually live up to your little threat? :O)



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm


Prayers are requests, not dictation. Moderatelad is not demanding victory in Iraq to believe in God’s power, so it is not idolatry. Victory in Iraq would be a peaceful country that would bring stability to the region, and an end to the death and destruction. There is absolutely no reason not to pray for that.
In the context of which he said that, it sure as heck is idolatry. Remember, he accused Wallis of wishing for “defeat” in Iraq when he has never said any such thing, so his “prayer” was, frankly, presumptuous, similar to what the Pharisee prayed in Jesus’ parable with the publican. That’s where the idolatry comes in, and if you or anyone else on either side of the ideological spectrum made the same request I would respond in the same way.
A better attitude is as such: “Father, we certainly desire a stable democracy in Iraq, but we do not pretend to know entirely what the best plan for Your Kingdom is at this time. And while we have our opinions on the best way to foster that and we certainly recoil at the violence that is going now as we speak, we recognize that nothing happens without Your say-so and Your involvement. So we ask primarily for Your will to be done and Your direction in how we may participate in that.”
Where is the focus, thus? On God. Where was the focus of the prayer of moderatelad? On the outcome he wants.
My statement stands.



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canucklehead

posted September 6, 2007 at 7:41 pm


After a month of self-imposed “fasting” from blogging, Canucklehead returns to discover that nothing has changed at God’s (or somebody just like her) Politics…
Moderatelad – still lost somewhere out in right field
Rick – the comparatively crafty leftie
Squeaky – ever the moderator, attempts intervention whilst giving us a lesson in linguistics and etymological science; sheesh, do you have a PowerPoint presentation with that?
NeuroNurse – remains intent on asking for documentation even for statements that have been around for so long that we all know they’re in the Bible – or William Bennett’s Book of Values, which are one and the same, are they not?
Kevin S. – still the cut-man in the right-wing corner, often prone to inflicting his own cuts
and newcomer, Dadman, fresh from a Fundamentalists Unite! conference employs a thick, black marker such as my folks used to do to my Hardy Boys books, to blot out Squeaky’s “sheesh”
WHERE’S MY SOULMATE, Sarasota Kid, he of the solid middle ground? has anybody heard from him of late or did he get picked off by Felix or Dean or…?



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canucklehead

posted September 6, 2007 at 7:43 pm


woops, apologies to Billy Bennett – I think it’s actually The Book of Virtue(s)



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Anonymous

posted September 6, 2007 at 8:31 pm


Not bad canucklehead. Welcome back.
I thought about you the other day when in make a point on God’s Politics (always looking for documentation, you know) I found out that most of the oil imported to the U.S. comes from Canada. Keep it up!
I haven’t seen a post from Sarasota Kid in a while.
Peace!



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Marialynn

posted September 6, 2007 at 8:33 pm


Canucklehead….thanks for such a GREAT synopsis….I’m laughing so hard..
Maria



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Don

posted September 6, 2007 at 8:34 pm


Welcome back Canucklehead! We’ve missed you, though perhaps more than you’ve missed us. To be sure, not much has changed. It’s sort of like coming back to a soap opera after an extended leave, isn’t it? But we have fun.
Sarasotakid has moved away from Hurricane Alley. You might see him posting now as Jerseykid, though I have a suspicion he may have been using some different handles of late (just a suspicion–no solid evidence).
So how are things up in Alberta?
D



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Sarasotakid

posted September 6, 2007 at 10:10 pm


Hey Canucklehead, I have been just a’ prayer warrioring for America. Hoping that we defeat those infidels- whippe’em into lovin’ Jesus and America! Hopin’ we can annex the Yukon!-
Oops that was my split personality! Whew I thought I was Moderateleylaid there for a minute! I’m back!



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Moderatelad

posted September 6, 2007 at 10:17 pm


canucklehead | September 6, 2007 7:41 PM
Enjoyed your assessment – but I was ‘lost at the soccer field’ tonight.
Posted by: Kevin Wayne | September 6, 2007 7:11 PM
Could we pray that for once, you will actually live up to your little threat? :O)
Not a problem. Don’t plan on acknowledging them at anytime in the future. I don’t even want to agree to disagree with them anymore. Been slapped once to many times.
My assessment of Wallis had nothing to do with ‘him’ praying. I have never heard or read anywhere he has commented about a positive outcome in Iraq. My prayers are no more or less significant to the Almighty than Wallis’. (despite what someone else says…)
I personally have never made any judgement on someones ‘faith’, nor will I. I will not tell someone that there prayers are wasted. I will not tell anyone to ‘not argue with me’. I will not tell someone that they are wrong as another one has. I may not agree with them, I may believe that they are in error. I might even give them something to ‘chew’ on for any number of issues. But I will always respect them and honor their beliefs and convictions – even if I do not agree with them.
Soccer rained out tonight – oh well.
Blessings -
.



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Gordon

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:17 am


Squeaky’s etymological dissertation is priceless! Apparently there is something on Sojo worth reading.



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kevin s.

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:36 am


“Could we pray that for once, you will actually live up to your little threat? :O)”
Why don’t you just call him Hitler again. I mean, it’s what you do.
“I haven’t seen a post from Sarasota Kid in a while.”
Let me fill in for him. Oh (x or y post) is so typical of him and his (x or yo beliefs), I am above this because I belong to the emergent church .
“Oops that was my split personality! Whew I thought I was Moderateleylaid there for a minute! I’m back!”
Hilarious. Split personality comedy! How fresh and irreverent. Reminds me of one of the old Simpson’s Halloween specials, wherein one of the tombstones read: “Subtle political satire”. That was more than a decade ago. Hmmmm…
“Squeaky’s etymological dissertation is priceless! Apparently there is something on Sojo worth reading.”
Consistently embarassed by his ideological brethren as he may (or may not?) be.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:38 am


But I will always respect them and honor their beliefs and convictions — even if I do not agree with them.
Your very first post on this thread completely undermined your entire statement, which is what I called you on.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 7, 2007 at 2:52 am


Why don’t you just call him Hitler again. I mean, it’s what you do.
I actually never have called him or anyone else here “Hitler,” but I do remain stedfast in my opinion that individuals such as M-lad & yourself who find so much here disagreeable and can’t do anything but bring negative & unconsructive criticism even when dealing with someone’s prayers, is more than slightly disingenious for continuing to participate here. :)
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! [-}



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 7, 2007 at 3:15 am


Several of you missed this little gem that shoud bne respnded to:
The best way to end this war justly (that is, with the least loss of life and the most acceptable government in place) is to keep Coalition forces there in sufficient numbers until the Iraqis can stand on their own. This is an issue of morality, and Wallis and company are on the wrong side of it.
Posted by: Ben Wheaton | September 6, 2007 2:16 PM

Oh, really? And just who are you to go and dictate to the rest of us what our conscience should be telling us based on the prompting of the Spirit? Who are you to play Holy Spirit with someone’s prayers?
Perhaps it’s God’s will for Iraq to be a Muslim Theocracy, but be at peace? It’s not like Yahweh’s people have never had to live under the rule of those who are of a different faith. Read your old Testament.
And how do you know keeping Occupation forces in Iraq will “ever” be fruitful? That old hostilities won’t boil up at some indeterminent time even after and extended US stay. Answer: you don’t.
And how do you know keeping US forces in Iraq won’t be another “Gulf of Tonkin” mistake (remember that? It cost the US 58,000 lives!1
My, my, lot of people playing God around here. Look at the verse Wallis quoted to you aty the end again. You can’t ask anyone to pray anything other than their petitions to God. That’s a logistical impossibility.



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karobia

posted September 7, 2007 at 8:01 am


Greetings Jim Wallis,
I pray that this note finds you well. I pray that the Good Lord Yahweh would strengthen you and the team at Sojourners and Call to Renewal.
I have continued to receive mail from Sojo and read some of the articles and reflections.
About the matter at hand: I will pray for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Iraq, a massive civil war which would not be described as such by the myriad interests- political, economic, bureaucratic, etc that surround it, and the differing worldviews that view the issue.
While I agree with your sentiments about where this Iraq thing has reached and how it is continued to unfold, I cannot help but remember your 6-Point Plan that sought a ’3rd Way’ and ‘Moral Alternative’ to the impending attack by military forces of and led by the USA. As I wrote to you then (just after you published the Plan), I stand by what I had articulated in my letter to you. I would say that what I had shared in my letter has largely been fulfulled in an even more gruesome and grotesque manner, bearing lots of deadly and explosive fruit.
In brief, the main planks of the Plan were not fundamentally different from the official justifications for the invasion and unwarranted attacks on Iraq. There was naivete all round as stated by the Plan’s idea to foster a democratic Iraq, and faith in how the UN would implement a massive humanitarian effort.
I do not think you are aware of the perception of the UN in many Iraqis’ eyes immediately prior to the invasion in 2003, going by the suggestion that it would offer asssistance to Iraqis, and how it passed resolutions bearing deadly sanctions. In late 2002, I believe they included a clause barring some drugs and medicines in case they would be channelled to weapons systems. Madness!
Around the world, there are a multitude of perceptions, all undergirded by a certain worldview or mishmash of several. To me, when I think of the reasons for the war, and what has now been happening in Iraq, I see that many people who were UNCONDITIONALLY against the war still hold their ground. You have others who were against it, but not too radically, like yourself, even offering palatable or reasonable alternatives even moral alternatives. I see that you have seen the results and even become very extremely against the continued occupation.
My concern is that as people of faith, we must be vigilant, to make our voices heard, our perspectives known, our beliefs clearly the foundation of our decision. Even if they are too radical or seemingly extreme. Our best suggestions, because they align with justice and righteousness and concern for others, should be shared as they are. That way, even when things turn awry, as they have done in Iraq, we will never be judged that our suggestions had a part to blame in the resulting chaos, madness, death and destruction, that we almost helped forment.
Removing Saddam through external forces was the wrong way to go.The question of criminal rulers is not for America to decide and act, as history clearly shows. The question of WMD is now a farce that USA would rather not remember. But we will always remember. Yet many people unconditionally opposed to the war had raised that flag.
When I talk to American colleagues and friends, they say- ‘it has been proved there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but it was still agood thing for Saddam to be removed from power’. I, and many people wonder- good for whom?
Brother Wallis, and the many brethren in Sojourners and Call To Renewal, please keep up the good fight. We are in prayer with you. I truly pray that the Good Lord would judge my words herein as from a friend and brother.
The Six-Point Plan.
1. Indict Saddam Hussein for his crimes against humanity and send a clear signal that he has no future in Iraq, setting into motion the internal and external forces that could remove him from power and bring him to trial at the International Court in The Hague. History has shown, as with Slobodan Milosevic, that this can help bring down a criminal regime.
2. Pursue coercive disarmament with greatly intensified inspections backed by a U.N. mandated multinational force.
3. Foster a democratic Iraq through a temporary post-Hussein U.N. administration, rather than a U.S. military occupation.
4. Organize a massive humanitarian effort through the U.N. and nongovernmental relief agencies for the people of Iraq now, rather than only after a war.
5. Commit to implement the “roadmap” to peace in the Middle East, with a clear timetable toward a two-state solution that guarantees a Palestinian state and a secure Israel by 2005.
6. Re-invigorate and sustain international cooperation in the campaign against terrorism, rather than having it disrupted by a divisive war against Iraq that intelligence officials believe will likely lead to further attacks.
1. Indict Saddam Hussein for his crimes against humanity and send a clear signal that he has no future in Iraq, setting into motion the internal and external forces that could remove him from power and bring him to trial at the International Court in The Hague. History has shown, as with Slobodan Milosevic, that this can help bring down a criminal regime.
2. Pursue coercive disarmament with greatly intensified inspections backed by a U.N. mandated multinational force.
3. Foster a democratic Iraq through a temporary post-Hussein U.N. administration, rather than a U.S. military occupation.
4. Organize a massive humanitarian effort through the U.N. and nongovernmental relief agencies for the people of Iraq now, rather than only after a war.
5. Commit to implement the “roadmap” to peace in the Middle East, with a clear timetable toward a two-state solution that guarantees a Palestinian state and a secure Israel by 2005.
6. Re-invigorate and sustain international cooperation in the campaign against terrorism, rather than having it disrupted by a divisive war against Iraq that intelligence officials believe will likely lead to further attacks.



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Moderatelad

posted September 7, 2007 at 8:16 am


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | September 7, 2007 2:52 AM
‘…as M-lad & yourself who find so much here disagreeable…’
There are several on this site that I engage and even when we disagree – there is respect, challenge, direct thought and even humor. There are so few and for me, one, that I will not engage anymore in the future because of their arrorgance and know-it-all attitude.
In my comments to Wallis – I do not remember ever reading him saying that a victory in Iraq is even on the table in his world. I have read a lot of what he had to say about Bush, this immoral war, etc. I just said that I would pray but I believe we would be pleading our case to the Almighty differently. It was then that ‘someone’ said that my prayers were wasted. That I was an idolitor, etc. I am more than a little interested in what people that do not agree with me have to say – just the way that I am wired. But I draw the line at personal attacks and ‘don’t argue with me’ attitudes.
Have a great day!
.



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Donny

posted September 7, 2007 at 9:16 am


You know Jim, I want to like you. I want to forget what “progressive” ideology and theology really is and hope that it goes away. But your words say one thing and your actions do another.
So let’s look at this from Jim Wallis:
“I believe it will take faith to end this war. It will take prayer to end it. It will take a mobilization of the faith community to end it – to change the political climate, to change the wind. It will take a revolution of love to end it, because this endless war in Iraq is based ultimately on fear, and the Bible tells us that only perfect love will cast out fear. And to cast out that fear, we must act in faith, in prayer, in love, and in hope – so we might help to heal the fears that keep this war going….”
WHAT KEEPS THIS GOING JIM . . .
Is Islam and Muslims preaching Jihas and killing people in the name of Allah.
There are more places of disastrous war being waged by Jihadists than all of the troops of America in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
GO AND PREACH THE GOSPEL to the Muslims in all of those warring places.
Jim?
Soften their hearts Jim.
Since your “prophetic voice” is questionable, who is it that you are speaking for?



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squeaky

posted September 7, 2007 at 10:17 am


Canucklehead,
Welcome back!
I’m working on the powerpoint…
I did, however, think Dadman’s comment about “sheesh” was satire, so I offered some satire in return. But then, perhaps your comment was satire as well, in which case I need not defend Dadman’s comment. I think we need to invent fonts the clearly indicate sarcasm, satire, or irony, for those of us who don’t catch it right away.



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eileena

posted September 7, 2007 at 10:20 am


Hi,
Moral values: States political decisions should consider these; thus it makes sense for christians to take action, assuming that in general christians ought to be abiding christian moral values.
In reality this does not happen.
This war on Iraq has been based not on the defense of territory or moral values – but on economics and lies. It is a disgrace that it costs so many lives on all sides and compromises future decisions.
There are prayers certainly made on all sides to one God with many different names.
I pray people in charge have some good sense- at this point I hope the withdrawal from Iraq does not mean that there follows a war with Iran…
I have prayed that there would be no war because I believe that even if a state lives under despotic rule it should not be invaded, bombed and devastated in order for “democracy” to reign.
The issue seems to be economy and oil resources.



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squeaky

posted September 7, 2007 at 10:27 am


Kevin S.,
“”Squeaky’s etymological dissertation is priceless! Apparently there is something on Sojo worth reading.”
Consistently embarassed by his ideological brethren as he may (or may not?) be. ”
Who is consistently embarrassed–Squeaky or Gordon? If Squeaky, please explain your comment–how is it you think I am consistently embarrassed by my “ideological brethren” (and conversely, apparently NOT consistently embarrassed by my “ideological sisters (sistren?)” or by those not in the same (political) ideological camp as me? Or by “ideological sis/brethren” do you just mean Christians in general?
By the way, I’m a woman. Just what about the moniker “Squeaky” sounds even remotely male (I’d use my weakly humorously sarcastic irony font in that last sentence if I had one–just want to be clear that I am not truly offended)?



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kevin s.

posted September 7, 2007 at 10:38 am


“By the way, I’m a woman. Just what about the moniker “Squeaky” sounds even remotely male (I’d use my weakly humorously sarcastic irony font in that last sentence if I had one–just want to be clear that I am not truly offended)?”
I thought you had said you were male at some point in the past. Either way, you can have ideological brethren whether you are a man or a woman.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 7, 2007 at 10:50 am


“I thought you had said you were male at some point in the past.” kevin s.
Coincidentally, in “Dear Abby” today she wrote, “[A] transgendered person is someone who was born into the body of the wrong sex,” so it’s okay Squeaky, we accept you for who you are. – right Kevin?



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History Nut

posted September 7, 2007 at 11:07 am


From what I understand of Wallis’ position on war – the U.S. is not really capable of waging a just war. (I have read his earlier stuff like the Post-American editorials, etc.) I understand the pacifist position and comprehend why some people embrace that. I think it is a consistent position and one worth debating.
However, I am not clear on how pacifists think nation states (and the reality of nation states is one that is not going to go away anytime soon) should behave when their citizenry is attacked or their national interests are in danger.
Could the pacifists out there help me understand this one? Is there ever an instance when a nation has an obligation to act militarily? Is the Christian tradition of just war theory not applicable in the modern world?
And finally, for all those evangelical left out there – is anyone uncomfortable with Bush’s embrace of Pres. Wilson’s (Dem, religious Progressive) idealism in foreign policy? Would this awkward similarity be behind some of the vehement opposition to Bush’s ideas?
Thanks!



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squeaky

posted September 7, 2007 at 11:12 am


Kevin S.,
“I thought you had said you were male at some point in the past. Either way, you can have ideological brethren whether you are a man or a woman. ”
Umm…no…I, in fact, used an example in one of my posts to you about how it is I don’t find Brad Pitt the least bit attractive, but found my gangly, pock-faced (MALE) professor to be quite sexy…that should have been a clue, but then who knows what you were assuming…?
I’m not transgender, either, Neuronurse. Although that was a good catch of Kevin’s unwitting turn of phrase…
“Either way, you can have ideological brethren whether you are a man or a woman. ”
’tis true–but women are quick to catch those patterns of speech that ignore half the Earth’s population…
Still not sure what you mean by me being embarrassed by my ideological brethren…



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Don

posted September 7, 2007 at 11:25 am


Squeaky wrote:
“but women are quick to catch those patterns of speech that ignore half the Earth’s population…”
English instructors, too. I have to keep reminding my business and technical writing students to avoid gender-biased language.
And occupational stereotyping, too, right, neuro_nurse?
D



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canucklehead

posted September 7, 2007 at 11:44 am


In Christ, there is neither male nor e-mail.
Things are great in Alberta, Don; we’re pulling in so much dough from oil proceeds that a news item the other day was noting how comparatively common it now is to see Lamborghinis (?) and Bentleys on the roads around here
The latest controversy out here is a plan to introduce nuclear power into the Oil Sands up north of us as our contribution to cleaning up the environment. Needless to say, such a proposal has brought all manner of five-headed people out of the woodwork.



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squeaky

posted September 7, 2007 at 11:47 am


History Nut,
Good questions. I will attempt some answers, at least from my perspective. I can’t speak for all pacifists or others from the left of center Evangelical position.
I’m really not sure that anyone is capable of waging a just war, no matter how hard we try. There are just too many variables, and that is the nature of war–no such thing as a clean, neat war…some of my friends have suggested we should have just bombed the snoogy out of Iraq right away to obtain a clear and decisive victory instead of worrying about “collateral damage” which I think is an ideology opposed to Just War Theory. I’m strongly opposed to such an approach, although I’m not sure the outcome hasn’t been the same as if we had just done that…
Anyway, I lean much closer to pacifism, although I know it isn’t simple, and it isn’t simple because not everyone plays along. It is a position that many think is unrealistic, and I can see those points. And perhaps nation states can’t help it. We don’t have a government that has built its principals on the Sermon on the Mount, and because we don’t, and because not everyone in this nation is a Christian, and because even if we were, we don’t all agree what that means in terms of our enemies (even though I think Jesus’ words were pretty clear), we most certainly won’t see the pacifism I hope for played out in foreign policy.
That being said, that shouldn’t stop pacifists from expressing an idealogy of and working for peace, and more importantly, it is imperative that avenues of peace be explored. Could there have been another means of dealing with Afghanistan and Iraq rather than war? I think there could have been, but pacifist voices were largely ignored. It is also my feelings as a Christian that Christ called us to seek peace and find peaceful resolution to conflict. Ultimately I can’t control what nation states do, but I can control what I do and what my attitudes towards our enemies should be.
As for Bush’s similarity to Wilson? I’m not familiar enough with Wilson’s policies to have made that connection, so it had no bearing on my feelings about Bush’s policies. What disturbs me about Bush’s policies is the simplistic approach he takes toward foreign policy–it’s us vs. them, there is no grey area, he doesn’t weigh the historical roots to the current problems, he never/rarely admits mistakes (and ONLY if backed into the narrowest of corners), he changes the story (apparently we went to war to free the Iraqi people, although I could swear it was to get rid of WMD’s) nor does he acknowledge any U.S. wrongdoing in the past of present. Nor does he consider the voices of opposition to his plans so he can get a wide range of opinions and perspectives and make a wise decision. If he were the CEO of a business, that would be considered mismanagement. That’s my take on it, for what it’s worth.



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kevin s.

posted September 7, 2007 at 11:49 am


“In Christ, there is neither male nor e-mail.”
Ouch, dude.
“.I, in fact, used an example in one of my posts to you about how it is I don’t find Brad Pitt the least bit attractive,”
I don’t find him attractive either.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:05 pm


“I’m not transgender, either, Neuronurse.”
I never suspected you were (I simply refuse to use emoticons) – but, being a good liberal, there’s nothing wrong with being transgendered (where’s my umbrella, ‘cause it’s going to come down hard now!).
“And occupational stereotyping, too, right, neuro_nurse?”
Another good catch!
“In Christ, there is neither male nor e-mail.”
Okay, this is getting a little silly, but it’s a vast improvement on the character in which this thread started!
“I, in fact, used an example in one of my posts to you about how it is I don’t find Brad Pitt the least bit attractive”
You know, of course, that Brad & Angelina are now residents of my adopted hometown. On a recent volunteer outing, one of the women with whom I worked had just come from a press briefing during which Mr. Pitt spoke. I heard all about the almost transparent tee-shirt he was wearing and how gorgeous he is (yawn).
Seek peace and pursue it!



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Moderatelad

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:11 pm


Posted by: kevin s. | September 7, 2007 11:49 AM
My daughter this Brad Pitt is ‘da bom’ – so much for the hormones of a 7th grader.
I’m more the Sophia Loren type. At 70+, if I were not married, she could park her shoes under my bed anytime. Then again – when I look more like Oreson Wells and have made a comfortable PT income selling shade at soccer games – she may not want to park her shoes anywhere near me. (tee hee)
Have a great day -
.



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RL

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:19 pm


Nobody in their right mind likes war. And nobody would love to see our troops come home more than I would. (And God bless them for the work that they do for us )
But the scriptures do say that there will always be war, and that will not end until Jesus returns to earth and sets up His everlasting kingdom. Read His words for yourself:
Mark 13:6-8 (New International Version)
Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 7, 2007 at 12:53 pm


“I’m more the Sophia Loren type.” Moderatelad
I have to admit that I find Angelina Jolie very attractive – from the neck up. I couldn’t tell you what she looks like below her lips. Nonetheless, if we are to believe half of what has been written about her in the press, that woman has issues!
It just makes me appreciate my wife all the more. One of my coworkers recently said, “Your wife must walk on water the way you talk about her.”
I don’t know, I’ve never seen her try.



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Moderatelad

posted September 7, 2007 at 1:38 pm


Posted by: neuro_nurse | September 7, 2007 12:53 PM
Mine thinks she can walk on water. (tee hee) But we have never gone to bed mad at each other. Someone always says ‘I’m sorry’ and she says ‘that’s OK honey’ you’re a guy.
25+ years – must be doing something correct. I can hear them now – Moderatelad has been married to the same women for over 25 years…there is a God.
I figure when we reach our 40th – I going to turn her in for 2 – 20′s. (but at that age – I won’t be wired for 220 – chuckle)
Blessings -
.



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squeaky

posted September 7, 2007 at 2:15 pm


“I don’t find him attractive either. ”
Ah-HA! At last! Something we AGREE on!



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jonabark

posted September 7, 2007 at 3:27 pm


I believe the big difference is that I have been praying for victory and a free and independant Iraq. From everything that I have read that you have written – it isn’t just peace you seek – it is failure. If Iraq could end up worse off than it was under Saddam – I think you and people like you would crack open the bubblie and toast to success. Moderatelad
Iraq is already far worse off than it was under Saddam by just about any reasonable measure. No one is happy about that but many warned that this would happen including Bush’s father and a former incarnation of Dick Cheney. It is in fact worse than the worse predictions. Prayers will not change the horrors and violence that have already been unleashed. But surely only humility in the face of this awful mistake can offer a way to turn the tide.
The word victory is obscenely meaningless at this point. The horrific violence of the Iraq war has bought it’s inevitable fruit, America will never be able to claim that they did some great thing for this region of the world. America followed an incompetent lier into a war against a country that never attacked or threatened us. Repentance is in order.
Repentance comes from facing moral truth. To me, this is a big part of what prayer is about.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 7, 2007 at 4:29 pm


“Someone always says ‘I’m sorry’ and she says ‘that’s OK honey’ you’re a guy.”
It usually takes me a day or so to get there.
“but at that age – I won’t be wired for 220″
That’s what transformers are for.
This exchange could go very wrong from here…



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Sarasotakid

posted September 7, 2007 at 10:20 pm


“I haven’t seen a post from Sarasota Kid in a while.”
Let me fill in for him. Oh (x or y post) is so typical of him and his (x or yo beliefs), I am above this because I belong to the emergent church .Kevin S.
Thank you for taking a swipe at me Kevin. I would feel like I’m not doing my job if I don’t get you miffed every once in a while. As for the emergent church bit, well I have stated that I sympathize with the emergent church when you took your gratuitously nasty swipes at it, but I never have belonged to one. In fact I don’t belong to any church anymore- met too many people like you (arrogant, rightwing nut jobs) in them and found them to be a bit waste of time. See ya.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 8, 2007 at 1:03 am


In my comments to Wallis – I do not remember ever reading him saying that a victory in Iraq is even on the table in his world.
Fair enough. Can you also come around to the realization that he’s by no means required to do so? That’s the old “As Christians, we should be supporting the war effort” canard that has no basis whatsoever- not in Scripture or life in general.



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kevin s.

posted September 8, 2007 at 2:55 am


“Thank you for taking a swipe at me Kevin.”
You absolutely deserved it.
“I would feel like I’m not doing my job if I don’t get you miffed every once in a while.”
Well, what got me “miffed” was an insult directed at someone who was stating their opinion, and and an unclever insult at that.
“As for the emergent church bit, well I have stated that I sympathize with the emergent church when you took your gratuitously nasty swipes at it, but I never have belonged to one.”
You would fit right in.
“In fact I don’t belong to any church anymore”
Not surprising.
“met too many people like you”
I bet you did.
“(arrogant, rightwing nut jobs)”
Cute.
” in them and found them to be a bit waste of time.”
Suit yourself.



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Sarasotakid

posted September 8, 2007 at 8:14 am


Me:” in them and found them to be a bit waste of time.”
You: Suit yourself.Posted by: kevin
So much for your fervor to save the lost.



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Moderatelad

posted September 8, 2007 at 8:37 am


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | September 8, 2007 1:03 AM
Fair enough. Can you also come around to the realization that he’s by no means required to do so?
He is not required to – that is true. There are many times when people at church that want do something a certain way. I believe that are approaching it the wrong way. But even if I believe they are wrong – but I can still hope that they will be successful. I could even pray for their success even if I am working another way to accomplish the samething.
That’s the old “As Christians, we should be supporting the war effort” canard that has no basis whatsoever- not in Scripture or life in general.
As Christians we should be supporting our millitary even if we do not agree with the war. We should show support for success publically even if we disagree with the conflict. We can give our efforts in Iraq our support for success (Harry and Nancy) even if we disagree – even if we think it was wrong – publically.
Blessings -
.



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James

posted September 8, 2007 at 10:19 am


“As Christians we should be supporting our millitary [sic] even if we do not agree with the war. ”
Wrong, Wrong, WRONG! This same attitude caused church members to support any number of unjust military actions in the past. Need we mention Germany? The attitude displayed in that statement is part of the problem- not the solution. Then you launch an attack against Nancy and Harry- they didn’t get us into this mess, mind you. Nor did they have a role in running the war. I guess that what you fault them for is not supporting this action in a blind and unquestioning way. To the extent that that is the case both Nancy and Harry should wear that criticism as a badge of honor.
You frequently mention in your posts praying for our military personnel, which is good. I too pray that they come home safe and sound. Do you ever pray for the innocent civilian victims of the war? Or don’t they count? Just wondering.



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History Nut

posted September 8, 2007 at 10:46 am


Hi Squeaky,
I really enjoyed reading your post, and I thought your description of why you are pacifist is a compelling one. What keeps me from pacifism is a concern that it doesn’t allow for the scenarios when the enemy doesn’t want a diplomatic solution. There are plenty of nation-states out there who are not beholden to our ideals of diplomacy. In those situations, I guess I would want my government willing to take the steps necessary to protect our country. Also, I don’t think it is realistic to expect peace in this lifetime – that is something we will enjoy when an entirely different Ruler is in place.
You wrote:
“As for Bush’s similarity to Wilson? I’m not familiar enough with Wilson’s policies to have made that connection, so it had no bearing on my feelings about Bush’s policies.”
My response is that you’re not alone, but the parallels are amazing. I have a feeling Bush’s speechwriters were reading Wilson’s WWI era speeches when they wrote alot of the Iraq and War on Terror stuff. Anyways, here is a small sampling of Wilson:
“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.”
“The challenge is to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how it will meet it.” (Bush: You are either for us or against us)
“Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.”
“to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German peoples included: for the rights of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience.”



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History Nut

posted September 8, 2007 at 10:48 am


More Wilson on spreading democracy from his declaration of war on Germany:
“But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts – for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own Governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.”



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kevin s.

posted September 8, 2007 at 11:35 am


“Wrong, Wrong, WRONG! This same attitude caused church members to support any number of unjust military actions in the past. Need we mention Germany? ”
Wouldn’t be Sojo if we didn’t. So if you do not support our military, would you like to see our military personnel die at the hands of our insurgency, so long as they are over there?
“To the extent that that is the case both Nancy and Harry should wear that criticism as a badge of honor.”
Assuming Hillary wins the White House, she’ll relegate them to the back halls of Congress pretty quickly. Harry’s relentlessly negative statements regarding the war evince that he would like for our military to fail. He is not worthy of any badges of honor.
“Do you ever pray for the innocent civilian victims of the war? ”
If you want to see innocent civilian victims, wait until we leave, when those who aided our military and waived purple fingers in the air will be systematically destroyed by the bastards we are fighting.



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Mike Bozeman

posted September 8, 2007 at 12:27 pm


“Prayers and sacrifice must be used as the most effective spiritual weapons in the war against war, and like all weapons they must be used with deliberate aim: not just with a vague aspiration for peace and security, but against violence and against war…the first job of all is to understand the psychological forces at work in ourselves and in society.” Thomas Merton
Before our pre-emptive unilateral occupation of Iraq, Bush (or his speech writer) knew what was needed psychologically to wage war: use dehumanizing phrases such as “axis of evil” thereby reducing human beings to something that must be annihilated. The idea of loving others for who they are and not for what we can get from or impose upon them is so foreign to our ethnocentrism and arrogance as a nation that reconciliation now and post occupation seems virtually impossible. We have screwed things up so much in Iraq that I agree with Wallis, that this is the time, just as it has always been the time, to plead with the Almighty to provide us with peaceful solutions because it seems we’ve run out of them. It wouldn’t hurt Congress to really struggle with writing a few of their own prayers either.



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Jeff

posted September 8, 2007 at 1:09 pm


If Nancy and Harry really thought we should pull out of Iraq, it doesn’t show. They claim to have a mandate from that last election. Okay lead on. Pull support or whatever it takes. It is not gonna happen. They don’t believe their own arguments enough to back them up.
Jeff



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Moderatelad

posted September 8, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Posted by: James | September 8, 2007 10:19 AM
Need we mention Germany?
OK – so the ‘official’ German Lutheran Church supported Hitler – no one is perfect. But do not forget that there were many congregations and denominations that did not. Many of them were put into prison and labor camps. Many disbanded and had to meet in secret. But not every ^&*( Chirstian supported Hitler!
Nor did they have a role in running the war.
Define ‘running’.
Both of them have be able to greatly influence the situation in Iraq by holding up funds so that we are hampered in equiping our personnel in Iraq – thus putting them at risk and maybe even causing the death of some. Nancy will go down as the first women speaker but she will make Tip O’Neal look like a choir boy for all of her manipulation(s) in congress. Harry – I feel sorry for him – he seems to loose his memory after ever nights sleep.
Do you ever pray for the innocent civilian victims of the war?
I have prayed for them since before this war started. I have said it before and I still stand by it. If I was a father in Iraq and someone came into my country to rid ir of a evil ruler and make my country safe. If it means that I would have to die so that my kids could have a life – so be it. If it means that I would have to die so that my nephews could live in a free soceity and have a say in the future of their country – I am willing.
Blessings -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 8, 2007 at 5:56 pm


So if you do not support our military, would you like to see our military personnel die at the hands of our insurgency, so long as they are over there?
No one wants that. The question is and always was: Should we have been there in the first place and should we be there now?



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Anonymous

posted September 8, 2007 at 7:08 pm


You: “So if you do not support our military, would you like to see our military personnel die at the hands of our insurgency, so long as they are over there?”
Me: Where do you get this from? A Karl Rove play book? You completely take what is being said out of context, then you twist it to mean something else (like that I would want the troops to die because I don’t support this unjust war. You failed to quote the rest of my post:
ME: “I too pray that they come home safe and sound.”
Are you always this disengenous or do you reserve it for the blog?



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carl copas

posted September 8, 2007 at 7:15 pm


History Nut: “And finally, for all those evangelical left out there – is anyone uncomfortable with Bush’s embrace of Pres. Wilson’s (Dem, religious Progressive) idealism in foreign policy? Would this awkward similarity be behind some of the vehement opposition to Bush’s ideas?”
History Nut, what makes you think leftists automatically agree with Wilson’s “idealism in foreign policy”? Many socialists in the United States opposed U.S. entry into the First World War and argued against the League of Nations on the grounds that it would simply represent international capitalism.
See also the writings of lefties from that era such as Scott Nearing,Randolph Bourne, and for that matter Jane Addams.
From a fellow history nut. . .



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James

posted September 8, 2007 at 8:56 pm


YOU (Kevin): So if you do not support our military, would you like to see our military personnel die at the hands of our insurgency, so long as they are over there?
ME: You put forth a straw man. You can support the military and bring an end to the war. It is not a question of supporting the war or wanting to see the military personnel die. You may want to frame it that way to cast war opponents in a bad light, but that is not realistic. Nor is it an intellectually honest way to portray the position of those who do not share your opinion.
You (Moderatelad): OK – so the ‘official’ German Lutheran Church supported Hitler – no one is perfect.
Me: You seem to gloss over that fact so lightly. The problem I had with your post was that you were saying that people (politicians, at least) need to refrain from any public criticism of the war. We happen to live in a democracy. If you prefer a totalitarian government where open criticism is not permitted, that is your right but don’t expect others to share that belief.



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Moderatelad

posted September 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm


Posted by: James | September 8, 2007 8:56 PM
No – we have freedom of speech in this country and even better – we have freedom after speech.
Nancy and Harry can say whatever they want and they can be critical. For the sake of our millitary personnel – they should be out there saying that they want victory in Iraq and then give their opinion as to what they would have done different. I believe that Nancy from her lack of support and her minipulation of funds not only believes that the war was wrong – but will do anything to make it a failure so to advance the Dem. agenda.
Blessings -
.



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kevin s.

posted September 8, 2007 at 10:34 pm


“You put forth a straw man. You can support the military and bring an end to the war.”
If anything, it would be a false choice, but that is why I added the “so long as they are over there”, which I don’t think you read in your rush to be offended by my question. If you do not support the military, what do you hope happens to them while they are in Iraq?
“Nor is it an intellectually honest way to portray the position of those who do not share your opinion.”
The majority of those who do not share my opinion on the war support the troops, which you claim you do not. It is a fair question.
“Where do you get this from? A Karl Rove play book? You completely take what is being said out of context, then you twist it to mean something else (like that I would want the troops to die because I don’t support this unjust war. You failed to quote the rest of my post:”
Is this also James? Moderatelad suggest that you should support the troops even if you do not support the war effort, to which you responded “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” That was the context.
You then went on to compare supporting the troops to the church supporting the Nazi’s. My attitude toward that Nazis would have been a desire for them to fail completely. If that meant their death (as it often did), so be it.
So, do you have a similar attitude toward our troops? I am asking you to examine your statement, not telling you what you believe. Hence the question marks. You want the war to end, and that would be your preference, but, again, what is your attitude toward the troops so long as they are in Iraq?



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Ms. Cynthia

posted September 9, 2007 at 4:28 am


I don’t believe that our Heavenly Father is going to rescue us from our mistakes, not even the biggest ones. He has not been a micro manager in the past, nor will he do so in Iraq.
When we play God, we some how we don’t get this. When we try to make things happen we can make a mockery of his creation.
So now we are in soo deep we can’t avoid doing a great deal of harm no matter what direction we move in. When I pray lately, God is quiet. He is not going to tell us what to do this time. He just listens. . . . .
He’s not going to scold us.
He’s not going to give us advice,
not even an ‘I told you so’
He knows us better than we know ourselves. We are experts at being self critical. We know what our contribution has been to the suffering of others. I see the tears filling his eyes.
He realizes that the cure for the mess we have created in the Middle East is going to be painful for everyone involved. God is not doing any miracles for us this time. He’s just going to have a good cry with us about it.
God listens to our hearts, even when we have disappointed Him. If only we could approach those who have offended us the way God listens to us. We might win more hearts and minds.



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James

posted September 9, 2007 at 10:13 am


You (kevin): The majority of those who do not share my opinion on the war support the troops, which you claim you do not.
You(kevin):Is this also James? Moderatelad suggest that you should support the troops even if you do not support the war effort, to which you responded “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” That was the context.
Me to kevin: You misrepresent what Moderatelad said. He equated supporting the troops with no open, public criticism of the war. I do support the troops. I want to bring them home. But I see that you’re the type of person who wants to misrepresent what others say. I just wonder whether you are this dishonest in all of your dealings or you reserve it for the anonymous atmosphere of the blog.



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James

posted September 9, 2007 at 11:23 am


You: Nancy and Harry can say whatever they want and they can be critical. For the sake of our millitary personnel – they should be out there saying that they want victory in Iraq and then give their opinion as to what they would have done different.
Me to you: What good is freedom of speech if you cannot exercise it? On one hand you say that they can say whatever they want. On the other hand you say how they should exercise that freedom of speech. You can’t have it both ways- give people freedom of speech and then dictate how they should exercise it. They are not obligated to publicly push for victory in Iraq if they do not believe that victory is not achievable. They are morally obligated to give an accurate description of how they see things going in Iraq and to advocate for policies that will help bring an end to the conflict with the least amount of harm to US troops and innocent Iraqi civilians. If that means pulling out our troops so be it.
You: I believe that Nancy from her lack of support and her minipulation of funds not only believes that the war was wrong – but will do anything to make it a failure so to advance the Dem. agenda.
Me to you: Long before the Dems threatened to cut off funds (a threat that they did not no could not carry out) or to delay them, the Iraq operation was flawed and in deep trouble. You seem to cast blame for the failure of the operation on the Democrats- hardly logical in view of the fact that they have held Congress for less than a year and the problems in Iraq date back to well before they assumed power.
Do you hold Bush to the same critical standard to which you hold Nancy and Harry? I think that it was hardly supporting the troops when at the first inkling of resistance in Iraq Bush went on record with a public statement saying “Bring it on!” I am thankful that I did not have a child in harm’s way with a swashbuckling commander in chief provoking the enemy to conduct more attacks. Hardly sounds like he was supporting the troops in that instance!
Supporting the troops would be to bring them home and pray for their safety while they are compelled by their government to remain in Iraq.



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Tom

posted September 9, 2007 at 3:37 pm


Kevin,
Why do you need your heroes to be ultra-patriotic, always involving war and control and always of a conflicted persona?
TOM



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moder

posted September 9, 2007 at 7:01 pm


Posted by: James | September 9, 2007 11:23 AM
There are times that I have publically supported something and wish – prayed for a positive outcome and have pointed out where I believe that something might be in error. Nancy and Harry have been negative from the get go. They have never stated that if the Pres. idea did work they would be happy with the outcome. Their work in congress shows that they would be more satisified if everything failed and it would be better for the Dems if it did. They went on record for withholding the funds so that they could gain control of the war. That it did not pass shows that they are – at least on this issue – out of touch with many of their own party.
Disagree – fine. But they have stepped over the line and I believe will be heald accountable for their actions.
Blessings -
.



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Moderatelad

posted September 9, 2007 at 7:06 pm


Posted by: moder | September 9, 2007 7:01 PM
The above post is mine – Moderatelad
.



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Anonymous

posted September 9, 2007 at 8:23 pm


carl copas wrote, “History Nut, what makes you think leftists automatically agree with Wilson’s “idealism in foreign policy”? Many socialists in the United States opposed U.S. entry into the First World War and argued against the League of Nations on the grounds that it would simply represent international capitalism.
See also the writings of lefties from that era such as Scott Nearing,Randolph Bourne, and for that matter Jane Addams.”
My response:
Hi Carl, glad to hear this is another person out there interested in history! I should clarify I don’t think leftists automatically agree with Wilson – I was trying to make the roundabout point that typically it has been the progressives or Democratic party that was idealist in foreign policy and now Bush has taken up that mantle of idealism.
You’re exactly right that there were progressives who didn’t support WWI, but frankly they were vastly outnumbered by those who supported the war. Furthermore, when you speak specifically about religious progressives that is even more so the case. Sadly, her pacifist stance led many of her fellow progressives to criticize her for that position.
You’ll also note I was very careful in my wording to not imply that ALL progressives supported idealism – although it is certainly accurate to say that a majority did. (Which is why just a few years after WWI the neo-orthodox critique of liberalism heats up and they use the religious progressives over-zealous support of WWI as evidence for what they saw as liberal Protestantism’s weaknesses.)
**Point is, it is strange that the idealism of Bush comes under so much criticism from the left – especially considering how much Bush, Wilson, and Progressive Era liberal Protestants seemed to have in common on foreign policy. Maybe the left no longer embraces idealist foreign policy?



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 9, 2007 at 8:25 pm


Their work in congress shows that they would be more satisified if everything failed and it would be better for the Dems if it did. They went on record for withholding the funds so that they could gain control of the war. That it did not pass shows that they are – at least on this issue – out of touch with many of their own party.
Since you are not a Democrat, isn’t that a bit presumptuous? A majority of Americans want the troops home regardless of the outcome, and that’s why FreedomWatch is running those pro-war ads in areas with “liberal” GOP congresspeople. And besides, the war is a failure as it is; Reid and Pelosi are, if anything, “riding the wave.”



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Moderatelad

posted September 10, 2007 at 12:02 am


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | September 9, 2007 8:25 PM
No comment – no argument
.



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kevin s.

posted September 10, 2007 at 12:10 am


“I do support the troops.”
Then why did you disagree with Moderatelad’s statement that we should support the military even if we do not agree with this war? Do you mean to say that you support the troops, but not the military? That is a curious position, but perhaps you can lend some insight.
“But I see that you’re the type of person who wants to misrepresent what others say.”
I haven’t misrepresented what you said at all. I did conflate the terms “troops” and “military” for the reason that this is very obviously what Moderatelad meant by his statement. I did not do so in an attempt to misrepresent you.
I would add that taking a statement that someone makes, and then drawing logical conclusions from it does not constitute an effort to misrepresent one’s opinion.
If you say, “I love Bill Clinton, and think he should be elected President for life,” And I say “then you would subvert the Constitution in the name of a beloved political figure,” I am not misrepresenting your opinion, but rather examining the ramifications of that opinion.
(note: I am not saying that you love Bill Clinton and think that he should be president for life. It was a hypothetical. In any other forum, this would go without saying, but…)
“Why do you need your heroes to be ultra-patriotic, always involving war and control and always of a conflicted persona?”
What???
“He has not been a micro manager in the past”
Tell that to Saul.



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kevin s.

posted September 10, 2007 at 12:22 am


“A majority of Americans want the troops home regardless of the outcome, and that’s why FreedomWatch is running those pro-war ads in areas with “liberal” GOP congresspeople.”
Do you have a poll in which the majority of Americans said they want troops home “regardless of the outcome?”
Also, there are anti-war ads running in the same markets.



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letjusticerolldown

posted September 10, 2007 at 4:01 am


Which war do we pray will end??



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Moderatelad

posted September 10, 2007 at 8:23 am


Posted by: letjusticerolldown | September 10, 2007 4:01 AM
Which war do we pray will end??
How about all of them.
Let’s pray that leaders understand that we can do commerce all around the world to the benefit of all concerned. That envy of what other countries have is counter productive. That to work with what we have and attract industry from other countries that will benefit their country is a better way. That it is better to use the ‘nuclear’ in conjunction with ‘electrical power’.
Blessings -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 10, 2007 at 10:52 am


Do you have a poll in which the majority of Americans said they want troops home “regardless of the outcome?”
I’ve seen one, though I don’t remember where or how; I think it was about 64 percent.
If you say, “I love Bill Clinton, and think he should be elected President for life,” And I say “then you would subvert the Constitution in the name of a beloved political figure,” I am not misrepresenting your opinion, but rather examining the ramifications of that opinion.
Well, if the person also said, “Well, because of our Constitution that won’t happen,” there’s no reason to believe that he would subvert the Constitution — it may be just a wish. (Considering that Clinton’s enemies actually tried to subvert the Constitution in order to get him out, I wonder how that would play out in reverse.)



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Tom

posted September 10, 2007 at 10:53 am


Kevin says, “What?!”
Kevin, I always hear you defending “Patriotism” but you still seem to want to insure or believe that a Bush v. “R(r)epublican” partnership is a moderate stance. You’re smart Kevin, just move to the left some. :)



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kevin s.

posted September 10, 2007 at 11:42 am


“Kevin, I always hear you defending “Patriotism” but you still seem to want to insure or believe that a Bush v. “R(r)epublican” partnership is a moderate stance. You’re smart Kevin, just move to the left some. :)”
When have I defended patriotism? What is a Bush v. Republican partnership? I don’t understand what you are saying.



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Frank

posted September 10, 2007 at 11:51 am


“When have I…?”
No, you’ve written nicely about it, really.
“What is a …?”
It’s Bushism and big R, little r, conservatism or whatever you wish to call their position. They think they can compliment eachother, somehow. I don’t understand it, Gizzly had a beard afterall. I’m really be sarcastic, but I just can’t deal with incompetant adults anymore. I’m 31.



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Tom

posted September 10, 2007 at 11:51 am


“When have I…?”
No, you’ve written nicely about it, really.
“What is a …?”
It’s Bushism and big R, little r, conservatism or whatever you wish to call their position. They think they can compliment eachother, somehow. I don’t understand it, Gizzly had a beard afterall. I’m really be sarcastic, but I just can’t deal with incompetant adults anymore. I’m 31.



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Tom

posted September 10, 2007 at 11:53 am


Sorry, Frank. That’s “Grizzly” btw.



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Tom

posted September 10, 2007 at 11:59 am


So, the point is that the philosophy of your conservative Party has lost something maybe. Can you admit this?
TOM



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snowdahlia

posted September 10, 2007 at 4:43 pm


As people of faith, we believe in the power of prayer to soften the hardest of hearts and open the way to peace and reconciliation. So, as General Petraeus testifies, we’re planning to match his surge with one of our own – 20,000 prayers for Congress to bring an end to this war.
I’m a big fan of Sojourners. I like knowing what liberal religious people are thinking and talking about; I especially like knowing that there are liberal religious people out there pushing back against the pernicious idea, promulgated by our current president, that religion is the property of conservatives. The Sojourners crew is smart and earnest and on the right side of every issue I can think of.
But this email bothers me, because it seems to me that when any grassroots group begins asking people to pray for change in national policy, the group’s all but admitted its utter inability to do anything but pray. And when a religious group sets up a fusillade of prayer directed at recalcitrant politicians, it only suggests how irrelevant it is to the political process.
I know religious people will take; they’d say prayer is an essential expression of spiritual integrity and power, and that it’s capable of almost anything. But is it? Personally, there’s no doubt that prayer can be transformative. But not politically. Surely flipping through the pages of any history book should be enough to convince anyone of that fundamental truth. Is there even the slightest evidence that prayer has ever been effective in changing the course of historical, or even natural, events, if by changing we mean improving? No. Yet religious people persist in claiming that prayers make a difference. If (and I’m assuming there must surely be condition or two) they’re sincere enough, or plentiful enough, or something enough.
It’s easy to be disdainful of certain religious practices, but that’s not what I’m doing here. Taking cheap shots at Christians doesn’t interest me, and especially not Sojourners, which is providing much-needed public pushback to the wizened, mean-spirited brand of Christianity that has found so much public expression in the last decade.
But yet, I’m confused about the implications of this “prayer surge.” If, after 20,000 prayers, Congress doesn’t bring an end to the Iraq war, what shall we conclude? That God supports the war? That God wasn’t listening to the prayers? Or rather, that he was listening, but decided that letting the war run its course would for some reason be better than ending it?
In a way it doesn’t matter, because prayer of this type is a win-win for God. He gets credit no matter what he does, something or nothing, because he’s all-knowing and always makes the best decision for us. Nor can he be held accountable for any bad outcome, because, after all, we created our own mess and are to blame for any suffering that results from it. All the credit, none of the blame, no real responsibility. This is God as Christians understand him?
Which is exactly why I thought many Christians had more or less given up intercessory prayer. It makes us all look a little bit foolish. God, too, when you think about it.



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Hali

posted September 10, 2007 at 6:26 pm


squeaky wrote
“Well, good point–we don’t seem to be able to get along, even when we claim to all be Christians.”
Just a quick observation: the question “Why can’t we all get along?” is being discussed right at this very moment in Jewish and Muslim forums (and probably among the Hindus and possibly the Buddhists, although I admit to not frequenting their forums).
We children of God do have a lot in common, don’t we? Lucky he doesn’t smack us in the butt as often as human parents do ;)



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Hali

posted September 10, 2007 at 7:21 pm


“Moderatelad” wrote,
“If I was a father in Iraq and someone came into my country to rid ir of a evil ruler and make my country safe. If it means that I would have to die so that my kids could have a life – so be it.”
Probably a lot of fathers and mothers share that view. The problem is that people react differently when their kids are the ones who die.



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Moderatelad

posted September 10, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Posted by: Hali | September 10, 2007 7:21 PM
‘…people react differently when their kids…’
True – and that is why war is the last act of a rational soceity to deal with an irrational entity. Saddam and his gov’t murdered 100′s of thousands of his own people and others in countries surrounding him. Hopfully we can bring some peace to this region within the next year.
Blessings -
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 10, 2007 at 11:28 pm


As Christians we should be supporting our millitary even if we do not agree with the war. We should show support for success publically even if we disagree with the conflict. We can give our efforts in Iraq our support for success (Harry and Nancy) even if we disagree – even if we think it was wrong – publically.
This claim is absolutely spurious. Christians do not support “our” military because we are citizens ultimately of a future kingdom. Romans 12 & 13 were written to shut Christians out of taking sides in any conflict of secular governments. There is no evidence of any support for wars by the people of Yahweh after the NT. And there never was support for a war that Yahweh didn’t directly start.
Thank God for people such as Wayne Morse, a courageous Senator from my home state who voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. That was proven to be a correct decision when 58,000 American lives were lost as a result.
Now THAT’S good and sensible exercise of conscience. Yours on the other hand, has no basis in support, Biblically, Theologically or Historically speaking.



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 12:13 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | September 10, 2007 11:28 PM
So – those who supported WWII were wrong and it was a great failure. Gulf War I did not achieve it’s objective(s).
Yes – this world is not my home – I’m only passin’ though. But you need to live in the moment too.
Have a great day!
.



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Dominick J.

posted September 11, 2007 at 12:37 pm


Someone wrote: “I believe we have a moral responsibility to assure that there is a reasonably stable society in Iraq before we withdraw our troops. What we started, we must finish.”
Once Hussein’s statue was brought down, we were finished! BUT that wasn’t even the reason Bush sent us to war on this Soverign Nation. Remember? He went there on a LIE he knew was a lie! He decieved us as a Nation. So in reality once he found out, again, and was proven Wrong that There were NO WMD and they did that once they got there by destroying the land and killing thousands of innocent people, We were Finished! We do not belong there any longer.



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Heidi Unruh

posted September 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm


Thank you for calling us to prayer. We need this reminder of the power of God’s love breaking into human history.
However, I cannot in good conscience sign the letter asking for an end to the war. Ending the war (unilaterally) is not the same thing as securing peace for the Iraqis. As bad as things are now, every indication is that things will get far, far worse for our brothers and sisters there once our military pulls out.
Please understand that I am not an advocate for solving problems through military might — I believe that we are far less secure, and the Iraqis are worse off, than when we started. However, now that we are there, we are responsible for protecting the civilians whose interests our government has claimed to promote. (See the World Council of Churches statement “Responsibility to Protect,” which allows for military intervention to prevent violence when no other means are feasible.) Let’s not pretend that the US will invest significant aid (other than military) into rebuilding Iraq once our troops have left.
I have no doubt that we will “win” the surge for peace and pull out sooner or later. (And our legislators will conveniently save their political skins by blaming the Iraqis themselves for this failure.) But if we pray simply for an end to the war, how can we bear the moral and spiritual responsibility of witnessing the further collapse of civil society, the ongoing degredation of living conditions and the horrors of civil war in Iraq that are likely to follow this decision?
I am praying that we do not end the war only to begin a new chapter of suffering and death for Iraqis.
Grace and peace,
Heidi



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Posted by: Dominick J. | September 11, 2007 12:37 PM
So when Kerry, Clinton, Edwards and so many others from the Senate floor said that Saddam had WMD’s – they were lying to us too? They saw the same intel as everyone else.
If the case is that the intel was not correct – that does not equate to a lie.
Blessings -
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:03 pm


So – those who supported WWII were wrong and it was a great failure. Gulf War I did not achieve it’s objective(s).
What do these have to do with the topic at hand and what do they matter?
Yes – this world is not my home – I’m only passin’ though. But you need to live in the moment too.
Which is what we’re doing. As responsible citizens of a higher Kingdom, and that Kingdom is now.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:24 pm


So when Kerry, Clinton, Edwards and so many others from the Senate floor said that Saddam had WMD’s – they were lying to us too? They saw the same intel as everyone else.
Try paying attention to what’s going on around here instead of listening to the counter-arguments in your head. I posted stuff re Clinton’s having not read the Senate briefing on Iraq more thoroughly, and how that was a factor in her decision to authorize the war vs. the outcome when someone actually did read the briefing.



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Moderatelad

posted September 12, 2007 at 12:13 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | September 11, 2007 10:24 PM
‘…Clinton’s having not read the Senate briefing…’
So – am I to understand that she spoke out and voted for something and she never read the material? Is her not reading the material the ‘bye’ for her voting for going in to find the WMD’s and now back-peddling on that vote and statements? This is the person that wants to be Pres. of the US – interesting.
Did I understand what you said?
Blessings -
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 12, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Did I understand what you said?
Yep. You never heard me give a pass to her on that at all.



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