MBBS Promises to Support President Bush in Prayer
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
At this time of unprecedented anguish and loss for the American people, we, as followers of Jesus Christ, commit ourselves to pray for you and other national leaders who must decide how to respond to these recent horrific acts of violence. We mourn the deaths and the shattered lives. We utterly reject the brutal tactics of those who inflicted these grievous wounds.
We commend you for calling this nation to prayer and remembrance, for visiting those who are in pain and grief, and for encouraging us all to refrain from rash actions against our fellow citizens of diverse cultures and religions.
That as you and other global leaders work together to bring those responsible for this violence to justice, that you will respond with restraint. We wish to be a nation whose actions reflect a consistent and just application of the ideals and values we so often proclaim. Both Scripture and experience have taught us that violent and excessive retaliation plants seeds of hatred that someday yield further terror and bloodshed.
That we as a nation will carefully examine how we have acted toward other people and nations in recent decades. When we recognize that our attitudes and actions have contributed to mistrust, despair and hatred, we will repent.
That we will refrain from vilifying entire peoples or nations. The majority of Arabs and Muslims, for example, condemn the acts of terror inflicted upon America.
That people and communities in this nation will continue to reach out to each other in comfort and healing, friendship and reconciliation, generosity and hope.
We encourage you to consider seriously the words of a recent graduate of our seminary who is currently living in Pakistan. "The hijackers have unwittingly created a sympathetic climate for partnership with moderate Islamic states to defuse radicalism." Diplomacy, trust and friendship, rather than militancy, should be our primary defense against future hatred and violence.
The recent attacks on this nation expose our vulnerability. As you lead this nation in its campaigns of military retaliation and improved security vigilance, we know that you recognize that these alone will not make the United States truly secure; in fact they run the risk of undermining the very values and freedoms that we cherish. We ask you to give priority to a long-term strategy to build relationships of mutuality and respect worldwide, to initiate reconciliation with those who are our enemies, to work for a world in which resources and power are shared more cooperatively, and to continue to put our confidence in God.
May God grant you wisdom and strength for these difficult days.
Henry J. Schmidt,
cc: Senator Barbara Boxer,
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Representative Calvin Dooley
Representative George Radanovich
Posted: September 18, 2001