“Divine Obedience” to the Leftist Fringe
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 14, 2007
The National Cathedral in
Washington, D.C. – operated by the liberal Episcopal Church – will host an ecumenical antiwar rally on March 16. Several dozen leftist church groups will convene in the cathedral “to end the occupation” in
Iraq. Afterwards, the activists will march to the White House and will stage a “Christian witness” (that is, demonstration) in
Park, across the street from the executive mansion. Acts of civil disobedience are being planned. “We expect that some of those who participate will feel called by God to acts of “divine obedience” by taking nonviolent actions that risk arrest in order to make clear our seriousness about ending the war,” according to the “Christian Peace Witness for Iraq” website.According to event organizer Rick Ufford-Chase, who is the former moderator of the left-wing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the protest will be specifically Christian, as opposed to interfaith, because President Bush is a Christian.“The war in
Iraq, as well as the war on terrorism, is being promulgated by a president who insists that he is acting out of his Christian faith,” Ufford-Chase cried. “Rightly or wrongly, the perception in much of the rest of the world – especially the Muslim world – is that this is a Christian aggression.” Ufford-Chase wants the world to know that these wars are not waged “in our names.”The former Presbyterian official promised that the demonstrators would declare a “prophetic word” in the “place where the president went to announce his intention to invade
Iraq four years ago.” Ufford-Chase seems to be referring to President Bush’s address at a 9/11 commemorative worship service at the National Cathedral in September 14, 2001, held weeks before the U.S. operation in Afghanistan.
Thus, the March 16, 2007, antiwar rally at the National Cathedral is the Religious Left’s revenge for September 14, 2001. The fact that Bush did not refer to
Iraq at the service is apparently not important.
Far more important, “We must build a movement of Christians who will stand against the war on terror,” Ufford-Chase affirmed. Christians must “not stand idly by while the heart of their scriptural tradition is torn apart.” Manifestly, it is an “inescapable truth that this war is antithetical to everything that Jesus taught and did.”The ecumenical “partners” organizing the demonstration include the Quakers, the United Church of Christ, Jim Wallis’ Sojourners groups, radical Catholic groups like the Maryknollers, and unofficial caucus groups the Episcopal Church,
America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), along with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.
It is odd that more leftist-led official agencies of the mainline denominations did not endorse. But perhaps the demonstration will be too radical even for them. The Christian Peace Witness for Iraq will demand that all U.S. troops be removed from Iraq and that the U.S. “stop threatening
Iran and other nations.” However, the U.S. must rebuild
Iraq, to “practice the discipline of active nonviolence,” “say NO to torture,” and create a new federal budget that focuses away from war and instead on “hunger, homelessness, environmental destruction, injustice, and oppression.” (Ending environmental destruction, just like Jesus….)
“Just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem because it did not know the things that make for peace, we weep over Washington, D.C., because of the tremendous human suffering and loss of life that have resulted from our government’s policies toward Iraq,” according to the demonstration organizers. “Let us choose life that we and our children and the people of
Iraq may live.” Ufford Chase further explained, “We believe that we have a responsibility to affirm the fundamental truth of the Gospel – that genuine security comes only in the building of right relationships – and to make it clear that this administration does not speak for us.” In the Religious Left’s mythology, President Bush hijacked American religion at his September 14, 2001, speech at the National Cathedral. There, surrounded by numerous senior clerics, and having shared the pulpit with evangelist Billy Graham, the president promised, “Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history. But our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing.”
For the president to speak of victory in the war against terrorism, from behind the altar of a supposedly enlightened Episcopal place of worship, enraged the Religious Left, which, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, dared not publicly articulate its anger. Now, it is more politically safe for the Religious Left to articulate its opposition not just to the Iraq War, but to any and all forceful
U.S. military actions, against any potential targets, as many of those “targets” plot targets of their own.