Former President Gerald R. Ford, praised in death as a low-key healer for the nation in the troubled aftermath of the White House Watergate scandals and the Vietnam War, was eulogized in a succession of Episcopal services at the turn of the new year.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, conceding that he wonders whether he should have been more involved in the antiwar movement, in a radio interview attacked the decision by the U.S. and Britain to go to war in Iraq as having “moral and practical flaws.”
The National Council of Churches has applauded recommendations of a bipartisan panel that has called for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The panel also concluded that the Iraq policy of President Bush’s administration is not working.
Many blame Rumsfeld and the neoconservative idealogues for the disaster in Iraq. But the current foreign-policy crisis vastly exceeds their mistakes. President Bush is still talking about “winning in Iraq” and “fulfilling the mission,” and his administration is still loaded with people who want him to stake his legacy on doing so. The neoconservative ideology of his administration is merely an exaggerated version of the normal politics of American empire. Before a significant change for the better is possible, Americans must reckon with the costs of the nation's perpetual war and military empire.
Like many Americans, I decided in early 2003 that a war with Iraq was increasingly necessary. War seemed justifiable because of the intelligence reports concerning Iraq’s weapons programs and because Saddam Hussein, who had committed atrocities in the past, was likely to be highly dangerous if he acquired weapons of mass destruction.
Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have voted not to hire professors or administrators who promote charismatic Christian practices, such as speaking in tongues. The board overwhelmingly adopted a statement October 17, two months after a fellow trustee noted his personal use of tongues during a sermon in the chapel of the Fort Worth, Texas, seminary.
A newly estimated civilian death toll of more than 600,000 Iraqis since the U.S.-led invasion confirms the fears of churches that opposed the war in 2003 and dramatically belies Washington’s estimates, said Bob Edgar, the top executive of the National Council of Churches.
The Progressive National Baptist Convention continued its call for an end to the war in Iraq at its annual meeting in Cincinnati, saying resources spent on the conflict are needed to address the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.