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Evangelical Good News Org Come Out In Favor Of Just War

From: Bob Rempfer [mailto:Bob@goodnewsmag.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 3:03 PM
To: Bob Rempfer
Subject: Good News prayer letter-c
Dear Praying friend:

As a nation we have been praying since the events of September 11. No one has fussed about the near universal presence of public praying and expressions of dependency upon God. That is entirely as it should be.

Good News recently sent a statement to Newscope expressing our response to the beginning of the war effort this past Sunday, October 7. We are also crafting a fuller document for release to the press in a matter of a few days. Here, however, is an excerpt from what we will release:

"We join the nation in soberly and prayerfully supporting the decision of President George W. Bush to begin military action against the Taliban government of Afghanistan. This is not an action that the United States sought out, but one in which we must respond.

"Our Social Principles of the United Methodist Church make clear that `most Christians regretfully realize that, when peaceful alternatives have failed, the force of arms may be preferable to unchecked aggression, tyranny and genocide" (Par. 164, Article G). We agree.

"We also agree with New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said in a speech to the United Nations, "There is no excuse for mass murder, just as there is no excuse for genocide. Those who practice terrorism--murdering or victimizing innocent civilians--lose any right to have their cause understood by decent people and lawful nations."

"Make no mistake about it, there is nothing glorious about war. Nevertheless, there are those moments when civilized people must confront `the outlaws and killers of innocents.' In this instance, overcoming evil with good will take force--even deadly force.

In accordance with historic just war teaching, we believe that the United States has a just cause and right intentions (to bring a just peace to Afghanistan, destroy the scourge of terrorism, and punish evil doers). Furthermore, we believe that the good produced from victory will be greater than the evil that would be suffered if nothing were done. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair put it, whatever the risks of war, `The dangers of inaction are far, far greater.'"

Please, find time and ways to pray earnestly for our President, Vice-President and national leadership. What pressure they are under in justly pursuing the war effort against Terrorism abroad and in working to protect the American people here at home.

An encouraging aspect of our nation's response is that nearly 2 in 3 Americans trust the federal government to do what is right. This is the first time in three decades that there has been such trust. This is more than double the percentages over just last year.

In addition, 9 of 10 people surveyed in three separate polls taken shortly after the military strikes began October 7 say they support the strikes, even though they may provoke more terrorist attacks. Also, 9 of 10 approve how the Administration is handling the situation.

None of us know the enormous pressure the President and other leaders are under. But there is great prayer support and it must continue in the weeks and months ahead. Let's be sure we are a part of that, regardless of our normal partisan differences.

God bless you richly during these days of world crisis. These are days when we should be seeking the Lord, His strength and wisdom, with greater fervor than we ever have before.

In Christ,

Jim Heidinger


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