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 Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

“Resolution on the War in Iraq”

Whereas, the prophet Micah reminds us that God calls nations to “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears to pruning hooks,” and that nations will no longer “lift up sword against nation, and neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah 4:3); and

Whereas, peacemaking is a sacred calling of the Lord Jesus Christ; and,

Whereas, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2004 (Para. 165.C) states, “We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ;” and,

Whereas, the continuing loss of Iraqi civilian lives, especially children, and the increasing death toll among United States and coalition military grieves the heart of God; and,

Whereas, the premises advanced by the United States government for engaging in this war, namely, the presumption of weapons of mass destruction and alleged connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq have not been verified; and,

Whereas, the cycle of violence in which the United States is engaged has created a context for the denigration of human dignity and gross violations of human rights of prisoners of war;

Therefore, The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church:

  1. Laments the continued warfare by the United States, coalition forces and the insurgents;
     
  2. Prays for military personnel and their families who have sacrificed as a result of this war, and for a swift end to the destruction and violence raging in Iraq;
     
  3. Supports a Congressional Resolution stating that it is the sense of the Congress that it be the policy of the United States to withdraw all US military troops and bases from Iraq;
     
  4. Calls on President Bush to immediately draw up and present to the US Congress and the American people a plan and timeline for the withdrawal of all US armed forces from Iraq;
     
  5. Calls for the United Nations to appoint a Peace Envoy to encourage and cooperate in talks with Iraqi groups opposed to the occupation to explore a political settlement to the conflict;
     
  6. Calls for the rebuilding of Iraq and other nations in the Middle East through a multinational development plan that honors the participation of the peoples of the region and gives them hope for the future.
     
  7. Calls United Methodists throughout the world to pray for peace and stand up and speak out for public policies that promote peace, justice, and reconciliation among all nations.

(Please note that a portion of this resolution was copied from a resolution approved by the Council in May, 2004.)

Submitted by

Marshall L. Meadors, Jr.
Bishop in Residence
Candler School of Theology
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322

October 2, 2005