Monday, February 11, 2008

Pledge for Peace

This pledge has just "gone live" at the link to the left. Please pass it along as you feel called. (There are apparently a few bugs in the software so not all signatures show up, but I'm told they are stored and will be shown soon. Such is technology.)

Because we follow the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, who promised that peacemakers shall be called the children of God,

We shall seek peace and pursue it.

Because God calls us to beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks until nation does not lift up sword against nation,

We shall seek peace and pursue it.

Because war violates the very foundation of our faith in God, who insists that genuine security is possible only when we love our enemies,

We shall seek peace and pursue it.

Because the occupation of Iraq breeds violence and despair and visits suffering on the most vulnerable Iraqis,

We shall seek peace and pursue it.

Because our faith teaches us to live in solidarity with the poor and the suffering and to share in God's boundless compassion and mercy,

We shall seek peace and pursue it.

Because war sows seeds of terror and undermines hope for future generations, and any attack on Iran will expand the present war in dangerous and unpredictable ways,

We shall seek peace and pursue it.

We follow Jesus, who taught by word and deed his conviction that we must show courage, love those of whom we are most afraid, and build right relationships across boundaries of suspicion and hostility.

Today we respond to Jesus' call as individuals formed by a tradition that strives to do justice and to speak the truth in love from the pulpit and from the center of the public square, even at personal risk.

Thus, I will do everything within my power to avoid complicity in acts of war that violate my fundamental beliefs. I pledge:

  • To be a pastoral presence: I will witness to my faith as I work for peace and reconciliation where I see violence tear at the heart of my own community.
  • To speak the prophetic word: I will speak boldly against the war on terror, the occupation of Iraq, and any proposal for aggression against another nation. In our divided nation, I refuse to demonize my fellow citizens with whom I disagree about these matters, but I refuse also to be silenced.
  • To model the way of peace: I will learn the principles and practices of active nonviolence, taking and teaching classes and using those practices within the growing, faith-based movement to end the spiral of violence in the United States and around the world.
  • To resist the powers and principalities:

    Through war tax-resistance: I will educate myself about war tax-resistance and share that information with others. As I am able, according to my own calling and conscience, I will with-hold all or a portion of my own taxes until I can be confident that the United States will seek peace through a combination of diplomacy and development together with other nations of the world.

    Through principled, nonviolent civil disobedience: In the event our government moves to attack Iran or another nation pre-emptively, I will participate in and encourage other to participate in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, risking arrest, public trial and even prison witness to make clear my grave concern for the direction in which our leaders are taking our nation.

  • To stand with the oppressed and afraid: I will reach out to those who are most at risk in the United States in this time of fear — Muslims, undocumented workers, immigrants - just as Jesus continually extended himself to the stranger and the outcast.
  • To partner with those of other faith traditions: I will work with those of other faiths who make a similar pledge based on their own convictions. Together, we will break down barriers of fear, misunderstanding and mistrust.

With my signature, I commit to action and to personal sacrifice. I commit to live my faith boldly in the heart of the empire. I commit myself to follow the Prince of Peace.