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OpEd: Rainbow Sash to Bush: ‘Time for U.S. to get out of Iraq’

by Joe Murray

The U.S. Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) joins the growing voices of religious organizations that believe the Bush administration should publicly state a clear and measurable plan for the timely, responsible and sustainable withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces from Iraq. The mounting deaths and casualties of U.S. and coalition service men and women, Iraqis, and U.S. and international civilians in Iraq, both straight and LGBT call out for justice and for an end to this violence.

As Catholic LGBT citizens we are motivated both by our deep faith and abiding commitment to the Church’s teachings on peace, of our church and our love of this nation. It is clear to us that the best course for us to serve both God and country is to proclaim our opposition to this administration’s war and publicly encourage you and all people of faith and conscience to do the same.

We agree with the summation of Archbishop Hamao when he suggested that Saddam’s use of poison gas against Kurdish civilians was not all that different from the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II. Who than claims the moral high ground? Everyone knows the way it turned out. War doesn’t resolve problems. Besides being bloody, it’s useless.

The RSM criticizes President George W. Bush for failing in 2003 to listen to the late pope’s warnings about the war in Iraq, and says that Bush unleashed the very forces of death, destruction and dislocation that Pope John Paul II worked relentlessly to avoid.

Three years of U.S. occupation have left more than 1,600 U.S. soldiers dead and more than 10,000 seriously wounded. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died and countless numbers have been wounded. The Iraqi resistance to the occupation has grown in numbers and sophistication, waging daily attacks on both U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. Reports from Iraq indicate that a full-scale civil war is now possible.

We must pray, and than we must walk the journey of peace. There can be no moral muteness in a time of war for LGBT Catholics. Therefore the Rainbow Sash Movement is endorsing the “March on Washington” to end the War on Iraq Sept. 24 – 26 and calls on all LGBT Catholics and others to support this peace march.


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