A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Prayer for the Middle East

On July 19, UCC General Minister and President John H. Thomas released the following churchwide prayer in response to escalating war in the Middle East:

You did not make us, O God, to die in bomb craters or to huddle through the night in basement shelters. You made us to play under olive trees and cedars and to sleep soundly with animal toys and gentle lovers. Lord, have mercy.

You did not make us, O God, to hold hostages for barter or to rain deadly fury on innocent children and beautiful coast lands. You made us, O God, to welcome strangers and to cherish all creation. Christ, have mercy.

You did not make us, O God, to oppress in the name of security or to kill in the name of justice. You made us, O God, to fi nd security in justice and to risk life in the name of peace. Lord, have mercy.

While leaders..pander to ancient fears, claim the mantle of righteous victim, and pursue their little empires in the name of gods of their own devising, the people of Lebanon and northern Israel are made captive to fear, true victims whose only advocate is You.

Save us from self-justifying histories and from moral equations that excuse our folly. Search our hearts for our own complicity. Spare us from pious prayers that neglect the prophet's angry cry.

Let us speak a resounding "no" to this warring madness and thus unmake our ways of death, so that we may be made more and more into your image. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.


At 7:37 PM , Blogger Bill Baar said...

Daniel Treiman nailed this in The Forward

The UCC also posted a churchwide prayer for Middle East peace on its Web site that included the following passage: “While leaders in Tel Aviv and Damascus, Tehran, Washington, and southern Lebanon pander to ancient fears, claim the mantle of righteous victim, and pursue their little empires in the name of gods of their own devising, the people of Lebanon and northern Israel are made captive to fear.”

The Reform movement’s Pelavin criticized the prayer’s grouping of the governments of Israel and the United States with the leaderships of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. “It feels not unlike the old ‘Sesame Street’ game, ‘Which of these things doesn’t belong here?’” Pelavin said. “Two of those countries are vibrant, healthy democracies.”

I wrote Thomas and told him this was on par with the morally corrupt stuff Palmer of First Cong in Oak Park (my childhood church) uttered in the 30's about Hitler being equivalent with FDR.

There is a good reason why Liberal Christianity on the skids if they can't make the Niebuhr's relative distinction.

At 3:33 AM , Blogger Dwight said...

If a democratic nation is able to displace over a million Lebanese and systematically destroy its infrastructure, killing over a 1000 plus people, it makes it all the more astounding that a nation with higher ideals than this should commit such an act.

At 3:53 PM , Blogger Bill Baar said...

A Democracy when attacked, and threatened with annihilation; will do what it takes survive.

Note two million Israeli's displaced or in shelters daily at the moment because of the rockets pointed at them. And every rocket targeted against civilians; not the IDF.

Israel responding with restraint. It could ethnically cleanse Gaza, West Bank, or S. Lebanon, which is what Serbs did in the 90s to Bosniaks while the US and Western Europe remained largely indifferent for far too long.

But their ideals a bit stronger then those of the West of the 1990s.

And a Democracy, when faced with Kerry's war of last resort, will retaliate in a fearsome way, as we did against Germany and Japan.

That's why I voted for Bush and the limited but hard war we wage today to build Democracy; rather than wait until war is no choice and we wage Kerry's war of last resort... a war I'm sure would annihilate much of the Muslim world.

At 11:30 PM , Blogger Dwight said...

Israel does not face annihlation. This incident started with soldiers kidnapped and Israel's response was the systematic bombing campaign, targeting urban populations in Lebanon. In that they produce the results that Hezbollah wishes it could achieve against Israel.

Your estimation of Hezbollah is largely the same as mine. But Israel's actions have helped the image and popularity of the group in ways that makes Israel's response terribly self defeating.

In Iraq faces civil war, not the possibilites of democracy. If the first is able to be prevented, then we'll have accomplished something. As it stands, that is not likely.

At 6:21 AM , Blogger Bill Baar said...

Hezbollah a front for Iran.

Ahmadinejad plans to nuke Isreal.

Right now, the odds are he'll succeed.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home