Blessed are the peacemakers
Thursday, April 11, 2019
As we approach the central holy days of the Christian calendar, I ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to advocate for peace. The U.S. House of Representatives has just passed a resolution to end our participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This is the first time since the Vietnam war that Congress has sent legislation to the president’s desk that enforces the War Powers Act. Our own departed Walter B. Jones was among the sponsors of this legislation. Congressman Butterfield voted for this legislation. Please call his office and thank him for his vote and while you are at it, ask him to support Congresswoman Lee’s bill, HR 1274, to repeal the 2001 Authorization of Military Force.
The 2001 AUMF gave the president advance permission to use military force against anyone who planned, authorized, committed or aided the 9/11 attacks. In theory this should have meant only the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. What has happened are endless wars not authorized by Congress. The war on terror has spread to 40 percent of the world’s countries. Between the Pentagon and the State Department, nearly 2 trillion dollars has been spent and over 480,000 people have died, more than 244,000 of them civilians. (See: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/?utm_campaign=lam&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ak)
Please remind your representatives that they are the ones the Constitution has authorized to declare war. It is their obligation to debate whether these wars have met their goal and whether they are worth the human and financial costs.
Christ has no body now but ours. We can make a difference. Remember Jesus said, blessed are the peacemakers!
The writer is the coordinator for the Friends Committee Greenville Advocacy Team.