As a person who truly loves peace, I recognize that there have been times in human history when violence and war may have been unavoidable, but in our current relationship with Iran, we are all here together to say that this is not one of those times! There have been times throughout human history when the threat to the well-being of the world has been so overwhelming that violence or even war as a very last result may have been a necessary option, but in our current relationship with Iran, this is NOT one of those times!
In our relationship with Iran, now is the time for diplomacy, now is the time to encourage a stepping back from the brink of war and a stepping up to the table of reason and peace. As a United Methodist Christian, I agree with the Social Principles of my church that insist that the “first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them” (Book of Discipline, Paragraph 165C). I also affirm the wisdom of the United Methodist Council of Bishops who see that “today’s nuclear peril is part of a complex ‘web of brokenness’ that people of faith and goodwill must confront.” (God”s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action and In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis & Just Peace). The agreement of the international community with Iran takes seriously our complex web of brokenness and it confronts the very real peril that we face, but it does so in a way that is more likely to lead us to a path of peace rather than to the way of war.
The persons and systems who have argued the United States into unnecessary and unjust wars in our recent past are the same persons who are now calling for a rejection of this agreement, and this rejection would greatly increase the chances of war with Iran and bring even more instability and violence throughout the world. Today, we are here together to say “not this time!” We are not going to be argued into another unjust and unnecessary war – Not this time. We join together with the billions of persons across this world and the millions of persons both in the United States and in Iran who believe that this is the time for diplomacy and not the time for war. We do not join together in a sense of naiveté or an ignorance of the very real threats to peace in this world. We join together because we believe that this agreement works against those very real threats and against those who continue to beat the drums of war as the answer to our global challenges. Today we stand together to beat the drums of peace, for all who are living today and for all who will live in the future. May peace be with us, and may we all work together to make it so.