faith in action

Church and Society applauds efforts for peace

Advocacy for peace is central to our work as followers of Christ. It’s also core to our ministry at Church and Society.

Something happened last week that has not got the kind of coverage I think it deserves. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act. The $733 billion defense bill would cover fiscal year 2020 and set policies for Department of Defense activities.

The piece of the story I think worth noting is how the bill would address current conflicts in North Korea, Yemen, Iran and Iraq. The bill seeks to:

  • Emphasize diplomacy and a peace treaty with North Korea.
  • Prohibit military options in Yemen and unauthorized military force in or against Iran.
  • Repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force for the Iraq War.

The bill’s support for diplomacy and a reevaluation of use of force demonstrates strong support for peace at a critical juncture for the nation and the world. We stand with those who strive for a more peaceful world. “We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them…” (Social Principles, ¶165.C)

The U.S. Senate passed a different version of the bill in June that did not contain the same good language as the House’s version. It now goes to conference committee to iron out the differences. Once a compromise is reached, the bill will be sent to President Donald Trump for his approval.

Mark Harrison, Church and Society’s director of peace with justice advocacy, has worked hard meeting with members of Congress to make sure United Methodists’ faithful commitment to peacebuilding is present in the conversation. He’ll continue to meet with members of Congress as the compromise version is worked out.

It is my prayer, and I ask you to join me, that the compromise version will include the pieces that focus on diplomacy and peace.

And let the voices of peace and love say amen.