(Go to my home page)

Statement on Iraq

The following was a statement by my Monthly Meeting (Penn Valley Society of Friends) shortly before Bush attacked Iraq.

Penn Valley Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) affirms the following statement:

The Iraqi people are not our enemies, but our brothers and sisters. We are not commanded one time to love our brothers and sisters, and another time to kill them. To kill another is to kill a part of yourself. We believe that there is that of God in everyone, and that to take one human life is to violate the spirit that lights every soul. As Quakers we insist that we must reject all violence and strife, and live in the light of God’s love. This love applies not only to us, but to all, including the people of Iraq.

We believe that our nation’s hands are already stained with blood, after a decade of bombing and sanctions. We believe that our hands will be stained much more deeply should our country invade Iraq. We believe that the present administration is pursuing a reckless and heedless policy and that this policy will result in disasters we cannot fully foresee. Finally, we believe that our best hope is to act on the inner voice that calls us to empathy with all human beings.

We reaffirm the Quaker rejection of violence. For three and a half centuries we have testified that the only way to end war is to end it. The Jewish and Christian traditions, especially in the life and example of Christ, command us “Thou shalt not kill”. The Buddhist tradition, as expressed by the Buddha himself, says, “Hatred does not end by hatred. Hatred ends by love.” There is no end to getting even, and the only way to make peace with our enemies is to befriend them. This we affirm. We hope to speak, and listen to, those who are not of like mind. We hope they will listen to us as well.