Thousands of Christians hold anti-war service in D.C.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by wiggles, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. wiggles
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    wiggles Active Member

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    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thousands of Christians prayed for peace at an anti-war service Friday night at the Washington National Cathedral, kicking off a weekend of protests around the country to mark the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

    Afterward, participants marched with battery-operated faux candles through snow and wind toward the White House, where police began arresting protesters shortly before midnight. Protest guidelines require demonstrators to continue moving while on the White House sidewalk.

    "We gave them three warnings, and they broke the guidelines," said Lt. Scott Fear. "There's an area on the White House sidewalk where you have to keep moving."

    222 people arrested; Bush away for weekend

    About 100 people crossed the street from Lafayette Park -- where thousands of protesters were gathered -- to demonstrate on the White House sidewalk late Friday. Police began cuffing them and putting them on buses to be taken for processing.

    Fear said 222 people had been arrested by Saturday morning. The first 100 were charged with disobeying a lawful order, and the others with crossing a police line. All of them were fined $100.

    The windows of the executive mansion were dark, as the president was away for the weekend at Camp David in Maryland.

    A change of heart over time toward Iraq war

    John Pattison, 29, said he and his wife flew in from Portland, Oregon, to attend his first anti-war rally. He said his opposition to the war had developed over time.

    "Quite literally on the night that shock and awe commenced, my friend and I toasted the military might of the United States," Pattison said. "We were quite proud and thought we were doing the right thing."

    He said the way the war had progressed and U.S. foreign policy since then had forced him to question his beliefs.

    "A lot of the rhetoric that we hear coming from Christians has been dominated by the religious right and has been strong advocacy for the war," Pattison said. "That's just not the way I read my Gospel."

    'The war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong'

    The ecumenical coalition that organized the event, Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, distributed 3,200 tickets for the service in the cathedral, with two smaller churches hosting overflow crowds. The cathedral appeared to be packed, although sleet and snow prevented some from attending.

    "This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong -- and was from the beginning," the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, one of the event's sponsors, said toward the end of the service to cheers and applause. "This war is ... an offense against God."

    In his speech, the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, lashed out at Congress for being "too morally inept to intervene" to stop the war, but even more harshly against President Bush.

    'Mr. Bush, we need a surge in truth-telling'

    "Mr. Bush, my Christian brother, we do need a surge in troops. We need a surge in the nonviolent army of the Lord," he said. "We need a surge in conscience and a surge in activism and a surge in truth-telling."

    Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia recounted how she learned of the death of her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, who served in the National Guard. When a uniformed man came to her door asking if she was Baker's mother, she said yes.

    "'Yes,' and then I fell to the ground and somewhere outside of myself I heard someone screaming and screaming," she said.

    The Friday night events mark the beginning of what is planned as a weekend of protests ahead of Tuesday's anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, which began on March 20, 2003.

    On Saturday morning, a coalition of protest groups has a permit for up to 30,000 people to march from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial across the Potomac River to the Pentagon. Smaller demonstrations are planned in cities across the country.


    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/...topstories
     
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  2. CTRLALTDEL
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    CTRLALTDEL Member

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    But Bush got his orders to invade Iraq DIRECTLY FROM GAWD. lol!!
     
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  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    There are some Christian denominations and believers who are strictly pacifist. That doesn't mean all Christians are, or ought to be, pacifist.
     
  4. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Give the teachings of Christ, doesn't it seem that this war has impeded the spreading of HIS message?
     
  5. wiggles
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    wiggles Active Member

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    I don't think you have to be strictly pacifist to be against this war. The Vatican's against it and they're not strictly pacifist.
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Not necessarily. Christian missionaries have been allowed into Iraq, adding to the small number of Iraqi Christians.
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I agree. My point was that being pro-Iraq-war or anti-Iraq-war has little to do with one's religion.
     
  8. jasendorf
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    jasendorf Senior Member

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    See, the problem with actually living up to Christ's teachings is that Christ didn't have any REAL evil in his day... if he'd have had Muslim terrorists to deal with he would have taught "bomb them back to the Stone Age" you can believe that!
     
  9. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    No real evil in Chist's day? Dunno. I think history says otherwise.

    If you think he would have taught "bomb them back to the Stone Age", then I'd suggest you might want to take another look at what he taught rather than what's said about what he taught.
     
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  10. wiggles
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    wiggles Active Member

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    Jesus had evil in his day, he just didn't have guns or bombs to fight it with so he had to be more creative.
     
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