Religious Left Urges Interfaith Anti-War Fast on Columbus Day, Which It Calls a 'Day of Conquest'
"Left-wing Mainline Protestants are joining Muslims in a political fast aimed at getting the United States to 'end the war' in Iraq, an objective that no U.S. action could quickly accomplish. The sectarian conflict in Iraq likely will continue with or without U.S. involvement." -- Mark Tooley, Executive Director UMAction
Contact: Loralei Coyle, 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, email@example.com; both with the Institute on Religion and Democracy
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- Religious Left officials are asking Americans to fast from dawn to dusk on Columbus Day, October 8, as a protest against the Iraq War. The group, which includes leaders from the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations and several Mainline Protestant agencies such as the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, wants all U.S. troops to leave Iraq immediately.
Ostensibly, the Religious Left fasters want to "end the war in Iraq." But they do not explain how removing U.S. and allied troops would accomplish that goal.
IRD Director of UMAction Mark Tooley responded,
"Left-wing Mainline Protestants are joining Muslims in a political fast aimed at getting the United States to 'end the war' in Iraq, an objective that no U.S. action could quickly accomplish. The sectarian conflict in Iraq likely will continue with or without U.S. involvement.
"Organizers cite the biblical prophet Isaiah as a model for fasting, but Isaiah called upon the people of Israel to fast as an appeal to God's mercy, not to make a political statement. This protest fast is not about spiritual transformation but about exploiting an ancient religious practice for a political purpose.
"Sadly, these fasting religious groups seem not interested in helping the Iraqi people, protecting the United States or safeguarding human rights and promoting decent government. Inspired by the almost mythical anti-Vietnam war movement of their youth, organizers pin responsibility for Iraq's violence exclusively on the United States.
"In their announcement, the Religious Left fasters note that their fast coincides with Columbus Day, a day that is 'overlaid with a history of violence and conquest.' For the Religious Left, America is the world's exclusive purveyor of violence and oppression, and the Iraq War is simply the latest example of America's perfidy.
"A more authentic fast would appeal to God's mercy for peace and security for Iraq and the United States."