From the Worldwide Faith News archives

TV spot features bishop questioning war on Iraq

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Wed, 29 Jan 2003 15:15:30 -0600

Jan. 29, 2003 Contact: Linda Green7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn. 

NOTE: A head-and-shoulders photo of Bishop Melvin Talbert is available at

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert, appearing
in a 30-second commercial for cable television, asserts that an attack on
Iraq "violates God's law."

As the ecumenical officer for the United Methodist Council of Bishops,
Talbert's remarks questioning Iraq's war policies are aimed at U.S.
policymakers. The commercial is expected to air later this week on CNN and
Fox cable news in New York and Washington and during CNN's "Larry King Live"
program. Talbert appears with actress and political activist Janeane

The bishop says there is no need for an attack on Iraq and that the United
States has no authority to remove dictator Saddam Hussein from power. "No
nation under God has that right," Talbert says. "It violates international
law. It violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ."

Sponsored by the National Council of Churches, the commercial is one in a
series developed by a group of religious and civic groups questioning the
need for war.

"Iraq hasn't wronged us. War will only create more terrorists," Talbert says.
The bishop has a long history of advocacy for peace and the innocent victims
of war. He visited Iraq in 1991, before the Persian Gulf War, and more
recently participated in an ecumenical peace mission there. On that Dec.
29-Jan. 3 trip, he witnessed the impact that years of sanctions have had on
Iraq's citizens.

"I don't see that small nation as being the kind of threat to our nation that
the media portrays," he says. "War will result in the suffering of masses of
children, among others. And what will happen to the rest of the Arab world?
Waging war will remove the influence of the more moderate element and put the
future in the hands of the more radical elements." 

Further, he says, the Arab world will associate U.S. military action with
Christianity in general, undermining ecumenical efforts like the peace
mission, coordinated by the National Council of Churches and hosted by the
Middle East Council of Churches.
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United Methodist News Service
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