51 Christian Faith Leaders Smack Down Republicans By Supporting Obama on Iran

obama weekly address iran deal
While Republicans voice ever more strident opposition to President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, seeming to have no other suggestion than bombing yet another country and triggering a third Middle East war in little more than a decade, more and more groups have come forward to support the president, including, recently, 70 nuclear nonproliferation experts.

The latest is a group of 51 Christian leaders, who represent dozens of Christian denominations and organizations. In a letter to Congress today, they voiced their support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as the best means of keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of Iran.

Their letter reads as follows:

Dear Member of Congress:

As Christian leaders in the United States, we are writing to urge you to vote in support of the negotiated settlement over Iran’s nuclear program. We live by God’s call to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). After decades of hostility, the international community has crafted a nuclear accord to limit Iran’s nuclear program and prevent the United States from moving closer toward another devastating war in the Middle East.

The July 2015 diplomatic agreement with Iran will dramatically shrink and impose unprecedented constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. In exchange, the international community will begin to lift sanctions on Iran. It also establishes the most robust monitoring and inspection regime ever negotiated to verify Iran’s compliance with the restrictions on its nuclear program.

As Christians, we feel called to speak out for the possibility of peace. As faith leaders from the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons in war, we have a particular responsibility to speak boldly when opportunities arise that lead to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at home and around the world. This historic accord moves us one small step closer to a world free of nuclear weapons.

This agreement helps de-escalate tension in a region that is already suffering the effects of war and violence in ways unimaginable to most of us in the United States. It is also a testament to the effectiveness of diplomacy to take countries from the brink of war and resolve concerns peacefully.

This is a moment to remember the wisdom of Jesus who proclaimed from the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).This agreement moves us further away from the possibility of war and another nuclear-armed nation. There is no question we are all better off with this deal than without it. Rejection of this deal would be a rejection of the historic progress our diplomats have made to make this world a safer place.

The stakes on this matter have never been higher. That is why more than forty national organizations, including more than a dozen faith-based groups, wrote a letter earlier this year urging lawmakers to vote in support of this deal. The groups noted that this “will be among the most consequential national security votes taken by Congress since the decision to authorize the invasion of Iraq.”

As people of faith, we urge you to support the international agreement with Iran and reject legislation to undermine the deal. We will be praying for you.

Christians recognize that war is a poor alternative to peace. Republicans, in thrall to the so-called Religious Right, eschew diplomacy in favor of war. They have taken Augustine of Hippo’s “just war” theory and come to the conclusion that pretty much any reason can be used to justify a war. They use religion as an excuse for violence, just as they use it as justification for their various bigotries and racism.

It is interesting that while Sen. Tom Cotton (who can’t find Tehran on a map) claimed today that “Harry Reid wants to deny the American people a voice entirely by blocking an up-or-down vote on this terrible deal,” while himself ignoring the many voices raised in support of the Iran nuclear deal, like the letter here.

Obviously, it is too much to hope that this letter, or any number of letters from the various groups that have expressed support for peace, will have any effect on Republicans in Congress. What letters like this do accomplish is to unite those in opposition to war, and to make public the broad support diplomacy enjoys in this war-weary nation. It puts Republicans on notice that their decisions will be remembered, and in future elections, come back to haunt them.

23 Replies to “51 Christian Faith Leaders Smack Down Republicans By Supporting Obama on Iran”

  1. Luckily I have two Dem Senators, but our lockstep GOP Congressman wrote an op-ed to the local GOP rag and spelled out his opposition to the deal. Guess what? It was verbatim what we read every day from some GOP lost soul or other. Plus, Congressman Moolenaar was treated to a lovely visit in Israel along with his wife, all on the diem of Netanyahu. All Moolenaar had to do was come back and try to tank the deal that will keep all of us safe for decades. I emailed him to ask where his loyalty lies: with the US and her elected President, or with the warmongering leader of Israel, a country that does not deserve our largesse any longer. Never heard back from the congressman.

  2. “It puts Republicans on notice that their decisions will be remembered, and in future elections, come back to haunt them.”

    Oh.
    I do hope you are right about this.
    Thanks for the encouraging note.

  3. Yes the GOP in Congress will ignore the numerous phone calls, emails, letters and petitions calling for support of the Iran Deal.

    I wonder if this will be the act that puts the American people in motion to throw the GOP out of office? One can only hope so for the safety of the World.

  4. The GOP is truly coming undone. These past 6 years of being the party of “no”, of standing in the way of any progress, of acting like traitors instead of a viable political party. The chickens are coming home to roost. I predict a massive blowout in November 2016.

  5. The GOP only fight things like this just to do the complete opposite of the President. If Reagan or either Bush would have come up with the same Iran treaty, the scumbags would have jumped at the deal.

  6. The Evangelical Christians among those Republicans who are leaning or standing for a rejection of the Deal should heed the following:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

    If they truly consider themselves “children of God” they will stand for and accept the Deal in the interest of peace.

    Let’s see if they are swayed by that passage. If not, they are truly phonies and non-Christians–

  7. RobinMd:

    I truly believe that they would have stood by the deal.

    They are against it, ONLY because it was done on Obama’s watch, with our Democratic Secretary of State leading the American negotiators.

    The hypocritical partisans are clearly transparent here.

  8. I don’t understand the reasoning of the Christian leaders to advocate war and standing by Israel’s adamant refusal to accept the lifting of Iran’s economic sanctions. The gen X and young millennials of Iran have a different perspective on their religious views and beliefs and want to participate in the world stage, in exchanging new ideas for a more peaceful world.

  9. Unfortunately, one of my senators is Charles Schumer of NY who is in the running for leader of the Senate when Reid retires. And Schumer is opposed to the Iran deal and says further that he will vote to overturn President Obama’s veto. His allegiance to Israel is greater than his loyalty to the United States, our President, and the Democratic Party. He should NOT be allowed into a leadership position in the Democratic Party after his betrayal.

  10. I find Sen. Tom Cotton To be tremendously annoying. I just had to get that out. Why so many media give him deference on foreign policy escapes me.

  11. Sonia:

    I second the motion.

    He is Annoying and smug. The long neck, makes him look DORKY too.

    ;)

  12. If you actually read the story the link is right there. I know this is hard for some people but in big red letters it say the letter sent to congress

  13. Gene, It is called Dominionist Theology. It is the idea that Christians should work toward either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian who “understands biblical law.” At least under this name, it exists primarily among non-mainstream Protestants in the United States.

  14. On most of the issues between Obama and Congress I would agree, but on this one, the reason it is still touch-and-go is because of the malign influence of Iss-rah-ay-lee money and propaganda on politicians of both parties. I am glad to see these Christian faith leaders speak up for the deal, wish it was 51,000.

  15. Sad but true. Chuck Schumer, like most Zionist Jews with dual citizenship with Israel, place their allegiance with Israel first, not the United States. They are actually unregistered Foreign Agents, working their mischief and manipulation on all our Federal Agencies, Congress, and entire Zionist controlled media.
    That is not an exaggeration. As a Non-Zionist, Moral Jew, I can attest to a lifetime of being told by other Jews….”your allegiance is to Israel first.”

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