Editor's: In response to the ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria, as highlighted in several recent NUVO articles, including "Tutu Titillates, Blesses Boesak," and "Considering the Syrian Crisis: Legacy of War," we received the following:
As pastors of historic peace churches in Indianapolis:
We commend President Obama for seeking Congressional approval prior to initiating military action in Syria, which we hope will set a precedent for presidents in the future.
We appreciate the serious engagement of Congress and the American people in this discussion of how to respond to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.
We are encouraged that there is increasing recognition among Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, of the cost of war and violence.
We recognize our lack of understanding of the realities on the ground in Syria, and therefore commit ourselves to listening especially to the Syrian people. In addition, we will seek ways to assist those who have been harmed by this conflict.
We believe that to destroy any human being is to destroy the image of God that is in all human beings, whether our allies or our enemies.
As followers of Jesus, we pursue God's third way, which is neither violence nor inaction but seeks creative alternatives that will result in reconciliation.
We are encouraged by the current diplomatic proposal to remove chemical weapons from Syria. We pray that national leaders will have the courage to effectively carry out this nonviolent option, and we urge all nations to eliminate their own chemical weapons as well.
We invite all people of faith to join us in prayer, caring for our Syrian neighbors, and seeking peace.
Ruthie Tippin, First Friends Meeting
Ryan Ahlgrim, First Mennonite Church
Rob Miller, Northview Church of the Brethren
Brian Bither, Shalom Mennonite Church