I agree with you, but find the tone of your message to be too confrontational to be effective. Coincidentally, I received this from my wife this morning and it may be a more effective approach. Let me know if you agree.
Dr. Robin Meyers Oklahoma University Peace Rally November 14,2004
As some of you know, I am minister of Mayflower Congregational
Church in Oklahoma City, an Open and Affirming, Peace and Justice
church in northwest Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at
Oklahoma City University. But you would most likely have
encountered me on the pages of the Oklahoma Gazette, where I have
been a columnist for six years, and hold the record for the most
number of angry letters to the editor.
Tonight, I join ranks of those who are angry, because I have
watched as the faith I love has been taken over by
fundamentalists who claim to speak for Jesus, but whose actions are
anything but Christian. We've heard a lot lately about
so-called "moral values" as having swung the election to
President Bush. Well, I'm a great believer in moral values, but we
need to have a discussion, all over this country, about
exactly what constitutes a moral value. I mean what are we
Because we don't get to make them up as we go along, especially not
if we are people of faith. We have an inherited tradition of what is
right and wrong, and moral is as moral does. Let me give you just a
few of the reasons why I take issue with those in
power who claim moral values are on their side:
When you start a war on false pretenses, and then act as if your
deceptions are justified because you are doing God's will, and that
your critics are either unpatriotic or lacking in faith,
there are some of us who have given our lives to teaching and
preaching the faith who believe that this is not only not moral, but
When you live in a country that has established international
rules for waging a just war, build the United Nations on your
own soil to enforce them, and then arrogantly break the very
rules you set down for the rest of the world, you are doing
When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to
acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or
turn them on their head (you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like
that we must never return violence for violence and that
those who live by the sword will die by the sword), you are
doing something immoral.
When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not as
important as the lives of American soldiers, and refuse to even
count them, you are doing something immoral.
When you find a way to avoid combat in Vietnam, and then
question the patriotism of someone who volunteered to fight, and
came home a hero, you are doing something immoral.
When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel, which says
that the way the strong treat the weak is the ultimate
ethical test, by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest among us so the
strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker, you are doing
When you wink at the torture of prisoners, and deprive so-called
"enemy combatants" of the rules of the Geneva Convention, which your
own country helped to establish and insists that other
countries follow, you are doing something immoral.
When you claim that the world can be divided up into the good
guys and the evil doers, slice up your own nation into those who are
with you, (or with the terrorists?), and then launch a war which
enriches your own friends and seizes control of the oil to which we
are addicted, instead of helping us to kick the habit, you are doing
When you fail to veto a single spending bill, but ask us to pay for
a war with no exit strategy and no end in sight, creating an
enormous deficit that hangs like a great millstone around the
necks of our children, you are doing something immoral.
When you cause most of the rest of the world to hate a country that
was once the most loved country in the world, and act like it
doesn?t matter what others think of us, only what God thinks of you,
you have done something immoral.
When you use hatred of homosexuals as a wedge issue to turn out
record numbers of evangelical voters, and use the Constitution as a
tool of discrimination, you are doing something immoral.
When you favor the death penalty, and yet claim to be a follower of
Jesus, who said an eye for an eye was the old way, not the
way of the kingdom, you are doing something immoral.
When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed to
protect the earth which is God?s gift to us all, so that the
corporations that bought you and paid for your favors will make
higher profits while our children breathe dirty air and live in a
toxic world, you have done something immoral. The earth
belongs to the Lord, not Halliburton.
When you claim that our God is bigger than their God, and that
our killing is righteous, while theirs is evil, we have begun to
resemble the enemy we claim to be fighting, and that is immoral.
We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.
When you tell people that you intend to run and govern as a
"compassionate conservative", using the word which is the
essence of all religious faith-compassion, and then show no
compassion for anyone who disagrees with you, and no patience
with those who cry to you for help, you are doing something
When you talk about Jesus constantly, who was a healer of the
sick, but do nothing to make sure that anyone who is sick can go to
see a doctor, even if she doesn?t have a penny in her pocket, you
are doing something immoral.
When you put judges on the bench who are racist, and will set
women back a hundred years, and when you surround yourself with
preachers who say gays ought to be killed, you are doing
I'm tired of people thinking that because I'm a Christian, I
must be a supporter of President Bush, or that because I favor civil
rights and gay rights I must not be a person of faith. I'm tired of
people saying that I can't support the troops but
oppose the war?
I heard that when I was your age, when the Vietnam War was
raging. We knew that that war was wrong, and you know that this war
is wrong, the only question is how many people are going to die
before these make-believe Christians are removed from power?
This country is bankrupt. The war is morally bankrupt. The claim of
this administration to be Christian is bankrupt. And the only people
who can turn things around are people like you, young
people who are just beginning to wake up to what is happening to
them. It's your country to take back. It's your faith to take
back. It's your future to take back.
Don't be afraid to speak out. Don?t back down when your friends
begin to tell you that the cause is righteous and that the flag
should be wrapped around the cross, while the rest of us keep
our mouths shut. Real Christians take chances for peace. So do real
Jews, and real Muslims, and real Hindus, and real Buddhists, so do
all the faith traditions of the world at their heart
believe one thing: life is precious. Every human being is
Arrogance is the opposite of faith. Greed is the opposite of
charity. And believing that one has never made a mistake is the mark
of a deluded man, not a man of faith. And "war is the
greatest failure of the human race" and thus the greatest
failure of faith.
There's an old rock and roll song, whose lyrics say it all: War,
what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. And what is the dream of
the prophets? That we should study war no more, that we
should beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into
pruning hooks. Who would Jesus bomb, indeed? How many wars does it
take to know that too many people have died? What if they
gave a war and nobody came? Maybe one day we will find out.
Time to march again my friends. Time to commit acts of civil
disobedience. Time to sing, and to pray, and refuse to
participate in the madness. My generation finally stopped a
tragic war. You can, too!