There are various causes to talk out in opposition to the killing of Basic Qassem Soleimani, a strong chief in Iran who was killed in an airstrike by U.S. forces on January 3, 2020. Some will say that assassination is a warfare crime and violates worldwide regulation. Some will say it’s a betrayal of the Structure, as a result of President Trump didn’t get congressional approval earlier than ordering an act of warfare. Others will say it’s a dangerous political transfer that may solely add gasoline to the hearth of resentment and hatred within the area. They usually could also be proper.
However we converse as a result of our religion compels us to talk, and our conscience won’t allow us to be silent. Whereas we stand alongside individuals from numerous faiths and completely different political convictions, we converse uniquely right here as followers of Jesus who mentioned, Blessed are the peacemakers for they’re the kids of God (Matthew 5:9).
We Purple Letter Christians, who go by this identify as a result of the teachings of Jesus in lots of Bibles are highlighted with pink letters, imagine the act of killing Qassem Soleimani is a direct contradiction to the core ethical teachings of Jesus.
Within the midst of one of many holiest seasons of the 12 months after we bear in mind the delivery of Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), we’re grieved by this current act of violence and revenge.
Our religion teaches us that we aren’t to repay evil for evil, however we’re to beat evil with good (1 Peter 3:9, Romans 12:21).
Donald Trump has mentioned his favourite Bible verse is a watch for a watch. And this current act of violence confirms his dedication to searching for revenge. However a better studying reveals that the traditional regulation of eye for a watch was meant to cease the spiral of violence, not escalate it. The intent was to restrict violence, not give license to it.
Christ himself put it plainly: Youve heard it mentioned a watch for an eyeBut I let you know this, love your enemies (Matthew 5:38, 44). We imagine that when Jesus mentioned we’re to like our enemies, at a minimal he meant we shouldnt kill them. Anytime we rejoice in demise, we betray the One who liked his enemies a lot he died for them.
Not all Christians are pacifists and a few adhere to the theology of simply warfare principle popularized by Augustine within the fourth and fifth century. We invite all Christians to hitch us in denouncing this current act of aggression by the Trump Administration.
We acknowledge that the homicide of Basic Qassem Soleimani not solely violates the teachings of Christ, but in addition violates the core ideas of simply warfare doctrine which incorporates final resort (all different peaceable means have been exhausted), proper intention (not simply revenge), simply trigger, proportionality (violence have to be proportionate), and competent authority.
Violence doesn’t quell the fires of hostility and hatred, it perpetuates them. This act of violence is a direct confrontation of the core teachings and instance of Jesus.
Trump’s first public response to this historic act of aggression is more likely to come at his “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition launch at a church in Miami, Florida right now. We should not lend assist to compromised evangelicals via our silence. We should not give spiritual cowl and theological legitimacy to violence and warfare. Historical past will bear in mind this unholy collusion between white evangelicals and Trump. We should converse up.
We acknowledge that this second requires extra of us than a petition. We have to pray for peace. However we additionally have to act, and arrange, and get within the streets. We have no idea what the response of Iran will probably be or how the times forward will unfold. However we all know that we are going to stand on the facet of affection over worry and peace over warfare. Till the braveness we’ve got for peace matches the braveness that others have for warfare, we can not look forward to finding options to violence.
Peacemaking doesnt imply passivity. It’s the act of interrupting injustice with out mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil with out destroying the evildoer, the act of discovering a 3rd method that’s neither combat nor flight however the cautious, arduous pursuit of justice.
For the sake of our nations integrity and essentially the most susceptible in our society, we name on fellow Purple Letter Christians to voice opposition to the current killing of Basic Qassem Soleimani and the escalating violence in Iran and Iraq. And we proceed to ask all individuals of conscience to assist our name to take away Donald Trump from workplace.
Shane Claiborne, Purple Letter Christians
Lisa Sharon Harper, FreedomRoad.us
Don Golden, Purple Letter Christians
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, College for Conversion
Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, Repairers of the Breach
Rev. Jennifer Butler, Religion in Public Life
Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, New York Theological Seminary
Rev. Kaji S. Dousa, Park Avenue Christian Church NYC
Rev. Nathan Empsall, Devoted America
Dr. Sharon D. Welch, Meadville Lombard Theological College
Dr. William Stacy Johnson, Princeton Theological Seminary
Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, The Resistance Prays
Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Center Collegiate Church
Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft, Center Collegiate Church
Rev. Nathan Day Wilson, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Doug Pagitt, Vote Frequent Good
Rev. Carlos Malav, Christian Church buildings Collectively
Rev. Brian Moll, The Choir Church
Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer, The Interfaith Middle of New York
Britney Winn Lee, Purple Letter Christians
Elaina Ramsey, Purple Letter Christians
Brian McLaren, Creator