Churches Condemn US
The first Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the 21st century opened in Porto Alegre, Brazil, February 14, under the theme "God, in your grace, transform the world."
The Assembly, which meets every seven years, is the highest governing body of the WCC, the world's broadest global gathering of churches and Christian organizations. The diverse and dynamic event manifests the churches' commitment to seeking unity, common witness and service to the world.
Yesterday, The Conference issued a statement regarding the administration presently ruling the US. Here is a complilation of the stories.
U.S. religious group condemns Iraq war
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil,
Feb 18 23006
The U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches condemned the U.S.-led war in Iraq on Saturday for "raining down terror" on helpless Iraqis, and criticized Washington's policies on the environment and poverty.
The statement, issued at the largest gathering of Christian churches in nearly 10 years, also warned that the United States is pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe with a "culture of consumption" and its refusal to back international accords to battle global warming.
"We lament with special anguish the war in Iraq, launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights," said the statement from representatives of the 34 U.S. members of the World Council of Churches.
"We mourn all who have died or been injured in this war. We acknowledge with shame abuses carried out in our name."
The World Council of Churches includes more than 350 mainstream Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches; the Roman Catholic Church is not a member. The U.S. groups in the WCC include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, several Orthodox churches and Baptist denominations, among others.
It said the U.S. government turned a deaf ear to the voice of the church in the country and in the world, using God's name instead "in national agendas that are nothing short of idolatrous."
"We confess that we have failed to raise a prophetic voice loud enough and persistent enough to deter our leaders from this path of pre-emptive war.
Lord, have mercy," the letter said.
Pointing out that the United States enjoyed enormous wealth, the conference said Washington was clinging to its possessions rather than sharing its wealth with the vast majority of people who live in utter poverty.
The message also accused U.S. officials of ignoring warnings about climate change and treating the world's "finite resources as if they are private possessions." It went on to criticize U.S. domestic policies for refusing to confront racism and poverty.
The churches said they had "grown heavy with guilt" for not doing enough to speak out against the Iraq war and other issues.
The statement asked forgiveness for a world that's "grown weary from the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown."
Earlier, this week, I put up a post called beyond belief about the nexus of climate change and peak oil, with another story asking where are the scientists, where are the academics, where are our religious leaders?
They are here.
So are the Scientists.
Sure, we can point our fingers,
and speak with disdain,
of the military, industrial, congressional, academic, media, entertainment
with its skill to blind and obfuscate our
"national agendas that are nothing short of idolatrous"
But, that's a cop out.
It's US who are not listening.
You can't blame the captain,
if everyone keeps rowing.
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