USA versus Iraq: AME position : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

First it was Afghanistan and now it is Iraq. Who is it going to be next? And still ordinary Americans don't understand why the rest of the world don't like their Foreign Policy! This was and has nothing to do with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, but it is everything about OIL, OIL, OIL! All the weapons Iraq is being accused of , America also possess these and even much more. I wish the entire connectional AME Church would reawake (our 2000 Gneral Conference) and condemn President George W Bush's war! We condemn the Bush family and the entire American government and nation for having approved this war! Were there ever any peace demonstrations held by AME Churches all over the American nation? No, because of that clause in our Articles of Religion referring to allegiance to the American government. The General Conference in 2004 provides a new opportunity to do away with this clause. Let us pray that God will Bush to his senses.

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003


Rev. Hanse,

Let's start at the beginning. America has weapons of mass destruction. We have not used them. We have nuclear weapons, but the last time we used a nuke on a country was Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II (nearly 60 years ago).

My country is the defender of peace and freedom. The U.S., along with England, have been the only ones to consistently stand up for the rights of others. We send aid, we send food, we send medical supplies. What do we get in return? Criticism! Ask France what they'd be doing without our help. They would be a German-speaking, no wine-producing country. South Africa would still be under apartheid rule. Afghanistan would still be under the control of terrorists. I suppose we could go back to the Isolationist period in our history and kick every non-citizen out. They could go back to their countries and face opression, persecution, poverty, famine, and sickness.

Next, this war is NOT, I repeat, NOT about oil. The U.S. has enough reserves for the next 100 years. We only purchase 16% of our oil from Iraq. This war is multi-faceted.

a) Hussein has biological weapons and is not afraid to use them. He has done nothing to help us find the 9/11 perpetrators. He has financed terrorism through oil sales. That makes him a terrorist in my book. He cannot be trusted, and thus he must leave. The alternative is to have him unleash his weapons and watch those people suffer. I'll bet you would be among the first to demand that the U.S. do something to help those people.

b) Hussein still wants to reclaim Kuwait. Look at a map of the 30s. There is no Iraq, no Oman, no Yemen, no Kuwait. Just an area called Arabia. Kuwait would give Iraq a larger base of operations from which to wage war. Just as the United States prevented the USSR from obatining a warm water port, we won't let him take Kuwait.

c) This war could be the prelude to Revelation 18. Babylon (which is in Iraq) has yet to be completely destroyed. Hussein started to rebuild it years ago, but has stopped. The U.S. may be the catalyst by which prophecy is fulfilled.

d) The war is a holy war; the battle between God's people (the muslims) and Satan (the U.S.).

One of the freedoms that Americans enjoy is the right of free speech and the right to criticize the government without fear or reprisal. Although the Discipline speaks of allegiance to the American government, it is superceded by the Bible. The Bible tells us obey the laws of the government in the land in which we live, unless those laws are in conflict with God's law (Daniel and the Lion's Den). Allegiance to the American government in no way deprives me of my right to protest. I chose not to protest because I want Hussein out of office. I want the Iraqis to have peace. I want them (and all people on this planet) to have the opportunity for their children to grow up in a safe, healthy environment. I don't want anyone on the planet to go to bed in fear, or hungry, or sick. As long as we terrorists to exist, this cannot happen. If getting rid of Hussein, and Bin Laden is the start, then so be it.

Finally, I assume that when you are being emotional. To condemn the entire American nation for this war is as ridiculous as condemning all of the Iraqis for Hussein's atrocities or the entire German nation for the Holocaust. I also don't think Mrs. Bush or the girls had anything to do with the war.

Sorry, but I cannot stand with you on this issue.

Rev. John Harper

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003

Before I get crucified, let me edit d) from the previous post.

In Hussein's eyes, we (U.S.) are the satanic empire trying to fight God's (his) people.

Rev. John Harper

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003

Reverend Hanse,

Please be assured that there are millions of Americans who feel as you do. But those millions seemingly have been ignored. "We The People" seem to have lost our ability to make decisions and govern ourselves.

Like Daniel and the Hebrew Children, as Christians we must choose to follow God. God has said "vengeance is mine, I will repay" and Jesus commanded us to LOVE, not curse our enemies. We are also admonished that we shall reap just what we sow. I fear that reaping will come sooner than many imagine or think it will come.

So I, for one, take consolation in the words of an old hymn:

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!

And another which says:

Jesus shall reign where e'er the sun doth his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, till moons shall wax and wane no more.

Take courage in our faith. God Is the Ruler yet!

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003

Rev. Hanse my dear brother, I hear your frustration and pain. Many of us feel the same way. The A.M.E church has disnounced the war in iraq, a statement was issued months ago by the a.m.e church that the us not go to war. So please know your denomination took a stance. Millions of americans have been protesting the possible war in Iraq. Over 100,000 in washington alone every weekend, the same large numbers were in new york denver, sanfrancisco. We even have protested in my small town. Do not think that every american is supportive of this war many of us are not. Rev. Hanse it is more important than ever to trust God and not lump all americans in the same category we are a large country with many different views. This should be a time of prayer and encouragement. We as pastors perhaps more than others have to be in prayer and scripture for our congregations need us now. It will be our actions, our demeanor that will inspire them to imitate christ, do not hate americans for that too plants the seed within your congregation that all americans are evil. America needs your prayers just as the people of iraq need our prayer for there are many innocent civilians there. I am proud that our denomination spoke out against the war, I am proud our denomination is not being silent. And Rev. Hanse please know some ame pastors are marching in the streets protesting. I am one of those pastors and I have received tremendous support from my Bishop. I pray we will not attack one another on this board for there are strong feelings about the war, some are for it and some are against it but I hope we can love and respect one another.

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003

Dear Rev. Hanse:

Many Americans are protesting the war. The protests are not being broadcast by the news affiliates on a wide scale basis. But they are happening. In my city there have been two this week.

My heart is saddened by the response by my government to Saddam Hussein. I do not believe it is the act of a Christian nation, but that of very frightened leaders who believe they are right and acting out of revenge and frustration in the name of the USA. It is also my belief that God is no respecter of persons or countries, and I am fearful my country will pay the price for this act of aggression upon another nation.

I take pride in my American citizenship. I am also grateful to be an African-American who can trace my family’s ancestry to the 1700’s in this country. But I also keep a clipping from a book called Engaging the Powers, by Walter Wink. It keeps everything in perspective. “Those of us who now enjoy affluence and freedom as well as power are predisposed to believe that benign forces shape our destiny. But to the extent that our blessings are incidental by- products of our citizenship in nations that currently enjoy domination status over others, our well-being may be more a result of flagrant injustice than divine providence.”

It is not only the US and England, but other countries such as France and Russia (although they protest now), will benefit in the end if America wins the war in Iraq. God is not mocked. Rev. Hanse, just keep praying. Let us pray for miracles. Let’s pray for peace and understanding among all peoples. “The Impossible is standing in front of me and looking me in the face. The Incredible is credible.”

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003

Parson Hanse:

Count me solidly in Rev. Harper's corner. His post carefully separtes fact from fiction about the true meaning about our current international conflict. Just curious, did you propose a similar activist position for the AMEC (read:anti-war) before September 11, 2001? US involvement in international affairs did not somehow commence with the legitimate attack on the Taliban in Fall 2001. Pax Americana has been the defining foreign policy model since WW I. Current protests and criticisms against Bush are purely political. During the 1990s, President Clinton presided over numerous military interventions in Haiti, East Africa and the Balkans. During the Clinton years Civil War, death and starvation were ubiquitous in Francophone nations like Seirrea Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast. Robert Mugabe has singlehandely lowered the economic growth rate of Zimbabwe and created mass suffering yet the AMEC is reticient about Mugabe's reign of terror. The Rwandan-Burundi conflict in 1994-95 claimed more than 500,000 lives. Al Queda operatives attack and killed numerous US embassy personnel in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Where was the AME "protest" during these troubled times? I have no doubt if a Republic President was in office he would have been villified for allowing death and destruction to occur in Africa during his tenure.

Democratic sympathizers were conspicuously silent in their noble anti- war denouncements during this time only because a Democratic President, some who suggest the 1st Black President, was calling the shots. The same distinguished Senator from South Dakota, Tom Daschle, was an ardent supporter of a Senate Resolution in 1998 which denounced the rougue regime in Baghdad and called for the dismantlement of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction by force if need be. Not surprisingly, since a Republican is in the Oval Office Senator Daschle's rhetoric now suggests that the President is responsible for the failure of diplomacy and causing the nation to be dragged into war. UN Resolution 1441 was passed unanimously by the UN Security Council (including France & Russia) and all evidence to date is conclusive that Saddam is in material breach. Actions do have consequences. Daschle's comments are disingenuous, reprehensible and the musings of a deranged politician.

The government of the USA is first and foremost a Republic. A Republic governance model is not entrusted in the hands of the masses but in the hands of a few elected officials who are held accountable by public law and Constitutional authority. Spirited dissent of the type you recommend is indeed a quality indicator for democracy but in the final analysis the decision will be made by the Commander-in- Chief, e.g. President Bush. Leadership does not necessarily mean kowtowing to popular opinion or being manipulated by poll numbers or mass demonstrations. I don't believe that my general welfare or that of allied supporters is somehow threatened or endangered by the current actions executed against the incorrigible regime in Iraq. I have seen the enemy and it is NOT us. QED

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2003

Brother Hanse, I salute you for raising this hot issue on the AMEC Board.May i contribute to this discussion by asking "What shall it benefit man if he shall win the whole world and lose his soul in shoel?

The war on Iraq is one of the greatest violations of human life. Imagine how may innocent lives will be lost in this avoidable conflict. The UN toothless as it is has lamentably failed to stop the war because some animals are more equal than others.

The only thing that we as AME's should do now that war is on is to pray for the Iraq's both great and small to turn to God by accepting Chrits as Lord and Saviour.Those who will die in the Lord with Christ will rise at the coming of Jesus Christ who will judge the quick and the dead.

Vangeance is for the Lord and he alone will take care of the people tha are inflicting pain on the innocent people.Saddam is not Iraq and vice versa and so the innocents should not be tormented on his account.

Remember the weapons we fight with are not carnal but have power to demolish and pull strongholds.Let's pray for this war to end real soon.Wars are better fought and won when God's people are on their knees and not when they are quarelling.

God bless

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2003

Thanks for the great discussion!

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2003

Thanks to everybody who is contributing to this discussion. We are aware that not all American people are in support of this war. But this is a sad, sad day for international relations, especially the United Nations. How could systematically disarm and weaken Irag for over a decade, and when the greatest superpower decided to attack Irag, it has literally done nothing to stop the USA and UK. What a shame that such an important international body was abused by the US for it's selfish agenda's. Perhaps the UN was promised that the US will pay all outstanding membership fees after the war against Irag. Perhaps the Secretary General is from an African country (Ghana) and what have they got to offer? Today it is Irag whose government is going to be toppled! Who is next? Perhaps my country (Namibia) and my president (whom the people are now freely dicussing to relect for his 4th term of office)? And still ordinary Americans don't understand why we don't like your Foreign Policy, because it causes untold suffering all over the world. In my opinion, only the innocent civilians will again suffer and since american military arsenal will be depleted, it will be big business of arms trade after the war!! It is a vicious cycle. Let us pray that God will bring President Bush to his senses, that it is fruitless and pointless that he sought for election to pursuit a war his father lost!

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2003

The Foreign Policy of the United States shoul always be determined by the US alone and its interests. I fully support President Bush in the current conflict. It is tme for other nations to realize that we will not be pushed around just because we are the only remaining super power. It is a blessings that we have a president that is not swayed by public opinion and demonstrations. My church and all of those I am aware of support President Bush. You will note that the French was so determined to be against the US that they declared they would veto any and all proposals submitted by the US and UK. France has been rescued by American (US) blood on two occasions in history. Is THAT part of the problem?

BE Blessed

Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2003

Rev. Harper

I am very much disburtbed by some of your assertions which suggest to me that you are a blind disciple of your government. In fact, I am disturbed because, as I follow the invasion of Iraq by the US, UK and their Coalition, no reports have been made suggesting that they have discovered the alleged biological weapons.

If, indeed, Hussein is not afraid of using the biological weapons at his disposal, why is it that the same have not been used against the US forces ( and the coalition) even when they are reportedly less than 100km to Bagdhad?

Hans Blix, in his reports to the UN Security Council, repeatedly rebutted the allegations of the US regarding the "smoking gun."

What saddens me is the religiosity with which you are proud of the acts of terror which are unleashed by the powerful against the less powerful. You have selectively sought to use theology to suggest that the war is justifiable and the US is the messiah and police of the world. You suggest that the Babylon of Revelations is Iraq. Let me tell you something you did not ask for, more people see none other the USA being the Babylon whose destruction is yet to come.

In the meantime, those who continue to seek for peaceful solutions to the problems of the world, do not loose courage. Even in the face of war going on, peace is still the winner. When the Psalmist summoned for us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6), I encourage you to continue to pray for peace in the world.

Meanwhile, God bless you.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003

Dear Readers I want the readers to know that I also reject weapons of mass destruction, whether it is owned by the USA, Iraq or any other nation for that matter. Why own it in the first place if you have no use for it at such high cost whilst civilians even in the USA are crying out for better life? Saddam Hussein erred when he invaded Kuwait and his country was rightly punished for that with sanctions and other measures! Ever since the UN has been insisting to disarm Iraq, but it never disarmed the USA and all other countries who own weapons of mass destruction. Is the US and coalition going to fight the Iraqi people until Saddam is catched dead or alive, thereby killing hundreds and thousands of people simply because BUSH Junior is fighting an enemy his father (BUSH senior)could not remove from power! This war shows us the sick metality of those who draft the hated American Foreign Policy! Perhaps Korea is the next country in the firing line, after the big brother has dealt with Iraq. Let us pray for President Bush to come to his senses. May God grant us peace.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003

Reverend Hanse,

On Saturday, March 22, 3003, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newspaper) printed a lengthy article entitled, “How Faiths View The War”. Every major faith and denomination was listed and included were Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Leading officials such as the Pope, the Potentate, Rabbis, Bishops, Moderators and Priests were quoted from the statements, which they made.

Since these were listed in alphabetical order the African Methodist Episcopal Church was first. Because of the position which Bishop Richardson now occupies, he is the one who was interviewed. We can thus assume this to be the official stance of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The following is a direct quote from what he said.

Bishop Adam J. Richardson, president of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said in a March 12 interview that he was troubled by the support of possible war by some in Christianity’s conservative wing. “I think that, from my perspective, the right-wing faction of Christianity is doing Christ a disservice by attempting to back their jaundiced views with Scripture, trivializing the Bible in public view and making a mockery of the best traditions of biblical scholarship.” He added his thoughts about the military: “I say emphatically that I am not against the military nor military personnel, I am an American, My passport says so. But I think the leadership is wrong. I am praying for him [President Bush] and…the people of the Middle East”.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003

Dear Rev. Hanse

Sorry to log in so late. I have been working day and night. I am pleased you have raised this subject although your view of it being economic I dis-agree with.

The arguements of the President for the invasion and destruction of this Arab Emerate are not credible enough to me. President Bush's Father and the United States Government had no difficulty using and paying Saddam when it was convenient years ago. I challenge the arguement of the use of chemical weapons on his own people. The United States Government did the same thing many years ago. Ironically they tested their weapons on poor unsuspecting blacks in the south. Was the U.S Government ever held responsible.

Outside of the incursion into Kuwait Iraq has not fired a shot into any foriegn country since the Gulf war.

I am still waiting to see if the United States and Israel will also abide by the United Nations ruling over 30 years ago to give back lands to the Arab people. This does not show respect for international law nor the people affected by these discussions.

The Panamanian dictator declared war on the United States and in quick time he was defeated and captured. On that score I agree completely. Have we decided to use the events of September 11th to justify an attack of historic significance.

I am concerned that this attack, which now has claimed hundreds of lives is all about two men. Saddam has mocked the United States and jeered at the Presidency. He outlasted Bush Senior and Clinton. People may not recognize the unique relationship of the Muslim faith. They are all brothers and you can be assured there are many lining up to train in camps to exact revenge on the united States.

In the end there are no winners. An unprecented amount of funds will now go into homeland defence and the easy-going passage to America may change forever. I pray that this war will end soon and proper attention will be paid (including respect)to people who are different. In September 11th people from all over the world lossed their lives ( including a friend and a loved one for me). Let us seek to find better ways to settle differences. The President began this campaign by directing this through the United Nations. It should still be there!

To my Brothers and Sisters in the United States I pray for you all and love you. There is much God has for us to do. War is not one of them. The land between the tibres and the Euphrates I was once taught was the Garden of Eden. I pray for us all.

God Bless You (Even if you do not agree)

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003

President's Bush's WAR BUDGET has been reported in Namibian media yesterday. The statistics as follows: $30 billion for the military build up, $13 billion for the war itself, 7 billion to replenish munition (didn't I talk about arms trade?), $1 billion, etc, etc, etc! This money could have been better spend on other pressing issued back home. I am thankful for the reader who informed us about the official position of the AME Church as articulated by Bishop A J Richardson, SR! We must agree to disagree as individuals on any issues, but the official policy of our denomination must reflect our diversity. When the less fortunate from Africa and else where go to first world countries to state our cases worthy of your support, we understand it to come from a solidarity point of view. That, for instance, the American people understand it from a Christian perspective. And whatever was given to SWAPO, ANC and whosoever was given voluntary on the merits of the cases presented. But these small grants and I call these small, in comparison to the WAR BUDGET i refer to, and any other good thing the American government has done, DOES NOT LICENSE IT TO KILL! And in this case, to act unilaterally in a case in which the entire international community was involved! One more thing before I take time off for the day - September 11th was a sad day for the American society when only limited damaged was done to the American economy. Look what this government has been doing for the past week in Iraq and we know that you can ration as much food as you like in Iraq these folks would never forgive the USA for this war. You can today visit the free countries of Namibia, Angola, South Africa and others - there is always a bitter taste left afterwards for the American self-centred roles in all conflicts. Personally, where was the US government when I suffered solitary confinement at Seeis! And we want ordinary Americans to know that we went to sought assistance from the Soviet Union simply because the West did not want to help us. Here we are today as free people after delayed independence, and those countries in Eastern Europe who supported our cases do not interfere in our domestic affairs. But we expect America to do so any day, because 'Americans are solely responsible' for their Foreign Policy. God knows that we appreciate the social advocates for justice who always have a hard time during Republican regimes in the USA and this time around we need the Democrats to come to power to end the war just like Clinton did. I pray for peace in the world and in Iraq and I continue to pray for President Bush - he is in need of the double dose of the Holy Spirit!

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

Political dissent is a quintessential American virtue. The comments in this thread and other related discussions rightfully fulfill the comments by the 26th US President and military leader of the Spanish- American War, Teddy Roosevelt. Progressive views like T. Roosevelt's are one of the many reasons why his bust is chisled on Mt. Rushmore.

It is good to have constructive disagreement. I welcome dissent among students, peers and family members. Unfortunately, one of the regular rhetorical ploys used in debate is the failure to respond directly to a participant's specific question. The rules of debate require a response to a question posed. For example, I asked a question about whether or not their was an AME policy against US military intervention during the Clinton Presidency when military conflict took place in Haiti, East Africa and the Balkans. No responses have been proffered. In addition, I asked whether there was an AME policy promulgated during the time of the Rwandan-Burundi genocidal carnage, 1994-1995. Again, no response. Now perhaps the muted response is an indication that no one knows. If so, someone needs to do their homework. Or, the "truth" may be that there was no official AME response suggesting the church adopted a position of "no comment". If it's the latter, my instincts about partisanship are corroborated. I will raise another question. Is the AME witness about social justice compromised when we speak loudly when Republicans are in control but retreat to conspicuous silence when Democrats are in the White House? If you answer by saying yes, where was the protest speech during the pre-"9-11" years? If you answer by saying no, this would imply that your politics transcend liberation theology.

Bishop Richardson's cerebral criticisms about evangelical Chrstians and the President's war policy are consisitent with the Roosevelt maxim. However, I don't think it can be defined as "official AME policy" since it reflects the views of a private and patriotic citizen and not something which has been ratified by the body of the organization. QED

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003

Tboho and Rev. Hanse:

I have to respond on two fronts, it seems.

I have a freedom, and that is to express my opinion. I have a responsbility to speak the truth, and it seems that I need to start backing up my statements with proof sources.

How the U.S. aids the South Africans today:,3604,859029,00.html

The Faith Community's position on the war: _e3b7bbdb74dea12600a2.html


The Southern Baptists hold little ambivalence about the war against Iraq. Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant body --- and the No. 1 denomination in metro Atlanta --- have supported the Bush administration's position on Iraq.

Bishop Lindsey Davis of the North Georgia United Methodist Conference issued a pastoral letter Thursday condemning Saddam as a "ruthless dictator" who "has held his nation hostage since the 1970s." But, Davis said, "No one readily embraces war as a solution to disputes among nations."

Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said Bush's invasion of Iraq threatens to isolate the United States from the community of nations, including its allies.

The Catholic Church has been the counterpart to the Southern Baptists. Its opposition to the war has been unwavering.

The nation's top Catholic bishop said Wednesday the military's own use of "weapons of mass destruction" against Iraq is "clearly unjustified." Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the United States bears responsibility for the fate of Iraqi civilians. "The United States and its allies are at war with a regime that has shown, and we fear will continue to show, a disregard for civilian lives and traditional norms governing the use of force," he said. _e3b7bbab74dee16f0082.html

The Article quoted about Bishop Richardson's view:

African Methodist Episcopal Church: Bishop Adam J. Richardson, president of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said in a March 12 interview that he was troubled by the support of possible war by some in Christianity's conservative wing. "I think that, from my perspective, the right-wing faction of Christianity is doing Christ a disservice by attempting to back their jaundiced views w ith Scripture, trivializing the Bible in public view and making a mockery of the best traditions of biblical scholarship." He added his thoughts about the military: "I say emphatically that I am not against the military nor military personnel. I am an American. My passport says so. But I think the leadership is wrong. I'm praying for him [President Bush] and . . . the people of the Middle East."

Note: He was NOT speaking for the Bishops, He was NOT speaking for the Church. He was speaking FOR HIMSELF.

As to my comments about Babylon:

I am well aware of the sins the citizens of my country allow to exist. Our sins would make Ancient Babylon, Sodom, Gomorrah, and Ancient Rome cringe. Could the U.S. be the Babylon in Revelation? Absolutely. I never said it couldn't be or it wasn't.

If you re-read my comment about the Biblical aspect of this war, I said that it COULD (not IS) be the prelude to Revelations. I did not and have not trivialized God's Word. If you cannot look at historical and modern maps and see that Babylon is within the borders of modern-day Iraq, you need to turn in whatever seminarial documents you possess.

You would also do yourselves a favor and look at Ezekiel 38 and 39, and replace the names listed there with their modern day counterparts. Then, visit these sites:

Magog has indeed supplied Persia with weapons for war.

The conclusion

I do not expect you to share in my views. You don't. I still love you, and pray for you and your family. I hope to meet you someoneday, when we can show each other our respective countries. I suspect that we all would discover new truths.

Rev. John Harper

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003

What I suppose I have failed to effectively communicate is that there has never been a time in the past 216 years when the A.M.E. Church has failed to make a statement or take an official stance. This will include every administration and every social action we have faced throughout the years. These of course include the administrations of Federalists, Democratic-Republican, Whigs, Republicans and Democrats.

These statements have more often than not been known as "Literary Reports" and they are issued at every Annual Conference, every General Conference and every session of the Council of Bishops, which is held in between. These reports are also read are published for all to see. They include such titles as "The State of Church", "The State of the Country", "Social and Political Action" "Evangelism" and the "State of the World".

Like everything else, if one was not present when they were published and read, research must be done in order to locate them and contact the proper source. These sources include historical documents, publications and periodicals, Bishop's offices, the Finance Department in Washington and the Publishing House in Nashville, TN.

In the interim of any of these conferences the official spokesperson or the entire church becomes the president of the Council of Bishops. Thus when a statement is required from the church, reporters and press look to the person in whom this position presently rests.

We can be assured that whoever holds this position has duly considered the position and the responsibilities it entails. Thus, we may also be assured that the president of the Council of Bishops has sufficiently concurred with the entire Council of Bishops who know and understand the general consensus of the districts over which they preside. Therefore these statement are neither entirely, personal or made up on the spot. They rather express what has been determined to be the general consensus of the majority of the members of the entire AM.E. Church--bishops, clergy and lay.

Some statements on this board suggest that we neither know nor understand how our church is operated and how it works. Perhaps both clergy and lay could benefit by attending the meeting of the Lay Organizations and getting to better understand and "Know Your Church."

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003

Rev. Hanse and my brothers and sisters

I have been following this war on Iraq ever since it was the war on Terrorism. I believe that it is awkward that the attention shifted so suddenly from finding Osama bin Laden to removing Saddam from office, who has done nothing by the way. Now, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SUPPORT THIS WAR WHAT SO EVER. I believe that the American government is very hypcritical by waging this war. This is how:

1) US accuses Iraq of having biological/chemical weapons. So does the US in fact only the US and Russia have cures for the strand of antrax the US posesses.

2) US accuses Iraq of having nuclear weapons. So does the US in fact we have more than Iraq and we disabled over 2000 due to a treaty with Russia.

And for the love of God (or Allah to Iraqi muslims) this war is not a literal JIHAD!!! Yes, the Jihad is a holy war, but it is an eternal war within oneself agaist that person and satan. Basically how we as Christians battle internal sins. Saddam is using the term jihad as a way to stir up support for the war just the way Bush says that US is justified by trying to remove Saddam due to his treat to humanity. The US needs to quit playing big brother, or excuse me, big bully to smaller nations before another vietnam happens, which we lost by the way. And America is not the only super power just because of our accomplishments because if we were, we would fear no other country and the US would not dare disrespect China, N.Korea, who openly admitted to having nuclear weapon capabilities, or Russia, who by the way has a strand of anthrax with no known cure and just about as much nuclear weapons as we do. US needs to check it's foreign policy and quit trying to push around other countries. And France is one of the reasons why American is what it is today in case everyone forgot their American history so we should show them a little respect just because they want the non-violent route, which we as African-Americans should respect whole heartedly.

These are just a few points that I would like to raise!! Be blessed and safe

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

Dear Brothers and Sisters

If there is to be a war against rogue countries with weapons of mass destruction. Why is the United States not as aggressive with North Korea? Why not India and Pakistan? Each day thousands of Iraq citizens are being killed and injured based on an arguement that their elected leader (whether we agree or not) must go. Why should any government have the right to exercise it's will on another when the original plan was to have this approved and sanctioned under the United Nations? Was this not the reason for the settling of America in the first place?

And by the way where is the massive hunt for Bin Laden? Why the sudden silence there and total emphasis on Saddam. As a foreigner my questions may aggravate or offend Americans. That is not my intention. But reasonable minds should be able to be reasoned with. Support your troops and your government, that is the patriotic and responsible thing to do. But the citizens of Iraq did not ask for this. When did international law and negotiations come second. There will be a price for this my Brothers and Sisters. I am gravely concerned.

God Bless You All

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

Point of clarification. The temptation is always great to cast stereotypes when discussing matters about war and peace. For instance, it is commonly perceived and vigorously argued by the 'anti- Bush' camp that those in favor of US military aggression are by definition 'pro-war'. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Exactly who has stated that they were eager to get this war rolling along? I workded side by side with top military brass during the 80s and 90s and can attest to the fact that no one is more oppossed to military intervention than politicians and military leaders. I have not heard one sound bite coming from even the 'Bush Hawks', Wolfowitz, Cheney & Rice that "we got what we want".

Another stereotype manipulated in the mainstream press and subsequently believed by many is the fiction that US military action against Iraq represents a violation of international law since it does not have official UN authorization for force. This is a non sequitur since UN Resolution 1441, unanimously passed by the Security Council including France, Russia & Germany, provides for military action if Iraq is found to be in material breach of the Resolution. Evidence of non-compliance was crystal clear, hence appropriate action commenced. A friendly reminder for those who have temporary amnesia but President Clinton never sought UN approval for the military strikes against Iraq in 1998 or Bosnia 1999. Why is the current President being held to a standard different from that of his predecessor?

Finally, while I unabashedly support Operation Iraqi Freedom I strongly disagree with those who consider US protestors quislings and guilty of treason. It is important to observe that the aim of US and world protest is to force the President to change his mind. The problem is while the Administration respects protest speech, there exists no similar respect to the Administration coming from the protest camp. Most protestors have an unmitigated and visceral hatred for Bush largely because of the 2000 Presidential Elections. Sometimes, I mischievously ponder what would the reaction be if Gore won in 2000? Judging by the reticent response to Clinton's 'war- mongering' I seriously doubt it would be anything like what we are presently witnessing. The philosopher who once quipped, 'the past is prologue', clearly did not experience the wrath of anti-Bush protestors. Nonetheless, protest is patriotic. That is the underlying message of Teddy Roosevelt's quote. Likewise, extricating Saddam from power is the moral equivalent of ending the reign of Emperor Hirohito. QED

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

I Corinthians 1: 26-31 reads as follows:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who basts boast in the Lord."

I read this passage and thought of billions and trillions of tiny sand particles blowing in the wind, keeping Apache helicopters on the ground. Huge tankers had to stop in their tracks because of an obscure view. Now there are traffic jams undermining the flow of humanitarian relief to the Iraqui people. The muslims who the Administration thought would revolt (Shiites) will not, because of past behavior of Bush, Sr.

We must stay in prayer for our soldiers. We must stay in prayer for our enemies, because God commands us to love our enemies. We must remain in prayer for our President and leaders so that God will be able to lead them.

To all the AME sisters and brothers. Just pray whatever your position. Just pray!

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

Professor Dickens,

It seems to me that for your point regarding Resolution 1441 to be valid,the majority of the SECURITY COUNCIL (not just acouple of its members) would have to have offically determined that Iraq was indeed, "found to be in Material Breach". That CLEARLY has not happened.Without such action, there can be no logical or legally VALID claim to a mandate for action. Also, to say that evidence of Iraq's non-complience was "crystal clear' is questionable at best. Perhaps it was crystal clear to you but is was FAR from compelling to me as an American who dearly loves his Country(and who was hoping that our leaders would produce clear and convincing evidence to back up their assertations), and it was FAR from compelling to the majority of member countries that were present at Secretary Powell's presentation.

blessings, Mike Barta

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

Dear Sister Brooks

Please do not be concerned about any potential difference in opinion between the esteemed Prof.QED and me. I still hold him in the highest regard and hold him in prayer along with his family. I appreciate and respect his position. I do not agree with all of it but respect his right to his opinion. This type of dialogue is exactly why there is such a vital need for bboards like this.

I have a different view and I am not American. I could not understand your patriotism just like you would not understand things we treasure in Bermuda.

I am praying for your Government and your President. I fully believe he is fundamentally wrong and going down the wrong path. I could be wrong,I may be right. I along with the rest of the world have a vested interest in the stability and security of the United States of America. I have family who are Americans and I am frequently there. I pray for wisdom and greater understanding. My concern is still the price we all will pay? But God is still in charge. There is no doubt!!

God Bless You my Sister and to my esteemed brother the legendary Professor QED Love and Peace from the Parson in Bermuda

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

Brother Brangman:

You misunderstood my entry. It in no way referred back to brother QED's entry. What I was speaking of was that God can use sand and wind to bring down a million dollar helicopter. He can use the hearts and mind of a people to hold back the biggest military power of this time.

Brother Brangman, I respect all entries on this board. It is refreshing to hear different points of view. The world would be too dull if everyone saw everthing the same way. Many times my opinion has been changed by a person's entry. God bless you all!

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2003

Parsons Mike & Nalton:

I appreciate your thoughtful criticisms and value your input. I have read UN Security Resolution 1441 (all 8 pages) and base my conclusion on the Powell Presentation before the UN body. You are quite correct in recognizing that the evidence about Iraqi non-compliance is cystal clear to me and not necessarily others. I happen to believe President Bush, Secretary Powell & Dr. Rice. Their collective credibility dwarfs that of Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin, Tarik Azziz or Dr. Hans Blix. I reject the notion that Powell or the President are congenital liars, solely interested in creating regime change by force in Baghdad.

Now a note about Mr. Holland's concerns about the US and her arsenal of "weapons of mass destruction". The cunning logic used in this issue is to somehow portray the US Government as hypocritical to call for one country to disarm when we maintain stockpiles. This is a seductive argument but it must be rejected because it is ahistorical and confuses the meaning of pending threats and disarmanent. Iraq, by international law & past 16 UN Resolutions, is required to disarm. This is a consequence of Gulf War I. To compare the Iraqi situation with the US is completely confuses the issue. Yes, the US possesses "weapons of mass destruction, i.e. nuclear arsenal, but this country has not used such missles since the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The US, unlike many rouge regimes (e.g. Iraq) does not use chemical weapons on its own people and is in complete compliance with the standards set by the IAEA which oversees global nuclear-non-proliferation. The latest flagrant decision by North Korea to kick out IAEA inpsectors and unilaterallly move towards the development of non-benevolent nuclear power is not only a threat to US security but to the security of Southeast Asia. The menance in North Korea will be dealth with at the appropriate time. The US is the only economic and military superpower on earth. Contrary to popular anti-Bush opinion, Republicans and Democrats will pursue war when American interests are threatned. The primary difference is when a popular Democrat pursues war (WJC) Hollywood celebrities and grass roots protestors are muzzled in speech and action.

Our "weapons of mass destruction" are nothing more than strategic deterrents and reminders to the aggressors to keep their non-sense in check. The core values and quality of life we enjoy in this country are secured by the calculated decisions of elected officials who order and command US military forces to action when the situation warrants. QED

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2003

To Bill Dickens, in response to you claim that United States doesn't administer chemical agents into they're own people. You must really lack knowledge of your country's history. What you're about to read I know you're not going to believe it, but do the math yourself to see.

This is a brief research about AIDS from a broadcast of “Network 23” in Los Angeles Public Access Cable Channel and also news articles from the Los Angeles Times, The New Delhi in India and the London Times. Aids a disease that is mysterious and yet the number one cause of death to millions of Africans, African-American males and females, Hispanics and other so-called minority groups around the world. Back in 70’s, the president Jimmy Carter had commissioned the global 2000 report and the results was astounding because Mr. Carter had blamed virtually all of the world problems on the population growth of the non-white people. The report went on as far as recommending the elimination of at least 2 billion people in third world nations off the face of the earth by the year 2000 in order to restore Western supremacy ( Halaqah Media). Another interesting fact is around the same time Henry Kissinger wrote a top secret document-a National Security Memorandum (“NSM 200”)-in which he indicated that “depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the third world.” The National Security Council as official US foreign policy adopted this Memorandum, which can be obtained from the US National Archives, which was only declassified very quietly in 1990. In fact, depopulation was considered a matter of US national security. As a matter of fact for the past 20 years, depopulation has been the highest long-range priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World. Henry Kissinger said, “The Us economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less- developed countries. That fact gives the US enhanced interests in the political, economic and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resources, supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.” [National Security Memorandum] From the US Senate Library a Appropriations Hearing that was held in July of 1969, where the Department of the Army specifically requested and received $10 million to develop “a synthetic biological agent that would impair or destroy the human immune system.”

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2003


The World Health Organization went into Central Africa in 1972-into an area that is known as the “AIDS Belt”-and administered a small pox vaccination to several thousands of Africans. This event was followed immediately by the first outbreak of AIDS on this planet-a remarkable coincidence-that was noted as a Front page Headline in the London Times, but has never even been mentioned in the US Media. Hepatitis B Vaccine was given to several thousand male homosexuals in New York and San Fransico in 1978 and what’s startling is every single person who received that vaccine contracted AIDS-every single one of them-without exception. That is what the first American victims of AIDS all had in common. They were receivers of the Hepatitis B vaccine. AIDS began in America in 1978 in the homosexual communities of New York and San Fransico, immediately following a government-sponsored program of Hepatitis B Vaccinations. It was said that the AIDS virus originated from green monkeys in Africa and was later past on to the local population through either acts of bestiality or through consuming them as food. From there on AIDS spread like wild fire across the African continent and later on to the rest of the world claiming millions of lives. On June 2nd 1988, The Los Angeles Times published an article refuting the idea that the human AIDS virus originated from green monkeys. It uncovered evidence that DNA composition of AIDS was totally inconsistent with that of green monkeys in fact it could be proven that the AIDS virus could not be found anywhere in nature and could only of ever survive in the human biological system. On July 4th 1984, The New Delhi newspaper in India called The Patriot published an article making the first detail charges of AIDS is being a counter biological warfare agent. An anonymous American Anthropologist has quoted claims of AIDS was genetically engineered of the US armies biological warfare laboratory at Ford Detrick near Fredrick. Then on October the 30th 1985 the Soviet Journal Glitter a Liternia Gazetta repeated the charges made by the Indian Newspaper making it an international controversy. The United States passed this statement off as a communist rhetoric, but on October the 26th 1986 the Sunday Express became the first Western newspaper to run a front page story confirming the findings of the Indian and Soviet newspapers entitled, “AIDS made in lab shocks.” In this article the distinguished position Dr. John Seal and Prof. Jacob Seagall the retired director of the institute of biology at Berlin University both concluded that the AIDS virus was man made. The outbreak of AIDS had been linked to vaccine programs around the world. The internationally respected London Times newspaper published an article of the Front Page story on May 11th 1987 entitled “Small Pocks Vaccine Triggered AIDS.” The article establishes its direct correlation between the small pocks vaccine administered by the world health organization to an estimated 50-70 million people in different central African countries and the subsequent out breaks of AIDS in those regions. The world health organization is the medical wing of the United Nations. The evidence suggests that AIDS is a genetically engineered virus spread through vaccination programs in third world countries. AIDS is a germ warfare against the innocent and the weak aimed at eliminating an entire populace off the face of the earth (Halaqah Media). A couple of highly respected physicians, like Dr. Robert Strecker, Dr. William Douglass, Dr. Cantwell, Dr. Hazeltine, Dr. Alonso, who all agree that the AIDS virus could never have occurred spontaneously in nature. That animal viruses cannot jump species, as we are being told they did, as we are being asked to believe happened-when allegedly, a green monkey bit an African and precipitated the pandemic of AIDS. It’s a scientific fact that viruses cannot jump species, unless they are specifically engineered to do so. It’s also a scientific fact that the AIDS virus bears no resemblance whatsoever to any virus ever found in a green monkey, but does bear a total resemblance to cow virus and sheep virus, which have somehow been bonded together would be in a laboratory- something engineered in a laboratory-and then further engineered to make the jump into a human system.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2003


Mr. Dickens, if you don't believe the above information, well do you remember the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens. . . . clearly racist. —President Clinton's apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to the eight remaining survivors, May 16, 1997

For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,”1 their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all. The data for the experiment was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. “As I see it,” one of the doctors involved explained, “we have no further interest in these patients until they die.”

Using Human Beings as Laboratory Animals The true nature of the experiment had to be kept from the subjects to ensure their cooperation. The sharecroppers' grossly disadvantaged lot in life made them easy to manipulate. Pleased at the prospect of free medical care—almost none of them had ever seen a doctor before—these unsophisticated and trusting men became the pawns in what James Jones, author of the excellent history on the subject, Bad Blood, identified as “the longest nontherapeutic experiment on human beings in medical history.”

The study was meant to discover how syphilis affected blacks as opposed to whites—the theory being that whites experienced more neurological complications from syphilis whereas blacks were more susceptible to cardiovascular damage. How this knowledge would have changed clinical treatment of syphilis is uncertain. Although the PHS touted the study as one of great scientific merit, from the outset its actual benefits were hazy. It took almost forty years before someone involved in the study took a hard and honest look at the end results, reporting that “nothing learned will prevent, find, or cure a single case of infectious syphilis or bring us closer to our basic mission of controlling venereal disease in the United States.” When the experiment was brought to the attention of the media in 1972, news anchor Harry Reasoner described it as an experiment that “used human beings as laboratory animals in a long and inefficient study of how long it takes syphilis to kill someone.”

. All quotations in the article are from Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, James H. Jones, expanded edition (New York: Free Press, 1993).

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2003

In all fairness, it must be stated that these men were not infected for this study. True, treatment was withheld, they were deceived, it was ahorrible, inexcuseable what was done. but the fact is that they contracted the disease themselves.

BE Blessed

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2003

Good Morning Mr. Robinson: For the sake of time and space I will respond to a few of your accusations at a time. You opine,: "Back in 70’s, the president Jimmy Carter had commissioned the global 2000 report and the results was astounding because Mr. Carter had blamed virtually all of the world problems on the population growth of the non-white people. The report went on as far as recommending the elimination of at least 2 billion people in third world nations off the face of the earth by the year 2000 in order to restore Western supremacy ( Halaqah Media). Another interesting fact is around the same time Henry Kissinger wrote a top secret document-a National Security Memorandum (“NSM 200”)-in which he indicated that “depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the third world.” Even if clandestine "depopulation strategies" were articulated by Dr. Kissinger, how would you have access to top-secret correspondence? Malthusian concerns about population growth has been expressed by concerned students of world development from both the "West" and "East". Western observers like Kissinger, have stressed population control in order to offset growth in agricultural production. Practices in the East, like China have implemented brutal and dehumanizing depopulation efforts which created societal disruption.

I am totally unaware of any such document that James Earl Carter commissioned while President of the US which explicitly recommended genocidal actions to stabliize third-world population growth and preserving Western hegemony. I lived and worked in Wash DC during the entirety of Carter's PResidency and I know without equivocation that any such Presidential Report would have been ridiculed by the Washington Press Corps as repugnant, racist and reprehensible. Endorsing genocide as a foreign policy tool contradicts Carter's own policy of emphasizing human rights as a key element in foreign policy. Hence, I categorically reject such malicious musings about Carter as a campaign of disinformation. If I find independent verification of such a report I will publicly apologize. Until then, I'm unrepentant. QED

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2003

I supose the obvious joy of the Iraqi people on TV today will still not convince you that this is the right war in the right place at the right time. This country has not done everything right in our 200+ years but we have done better than any other country in history!! To those who think we want to "colonize" Iraq, the United States, in its history has only kept enough foreign land on which to bury our dead soldiers who died liberating those countries. Today, we don't even do that, we bring them home.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2003

I am interested in learning about and understanding the AME denomination. As a Bible-believing Christian, I am curious how an individual or denomination could support Bill Clinton, or any Democratic administration which today embraces abortion, (i.e. "women's rights"), gay rights, pre-marital sex ("safe sex") enabling social programs, and tolerance, even atheism. Democrats used to stand for the people, but the voice of today's liberals is a contradiction to God's Word. Maybe I am wrong?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2003

Sister Janet:

As a bible believing Christian I do not understand how any Christian group or denomination could support anything that does not support Justice anywhere in the world. Let's talk about gay people. Did God create these people or were they dropped from the sky? While you may not understand their lives, I have a feeling that God does. And please don't slap me with Leviticus because if that is the case then we all have no hope of heaven because none of us are keeping the law in the totality and we don't get to pick or choose the ones we will disobey. And don't kick me with Paul because as a woman you have no authority over me, because I am a man. AME's are feel to support any cause they want to because they have free will. I cannot support a President who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and will not accept the idea that the United States has a history of oppression against African Americans and somehow he now decided the playing field is level. God gives men and women free will to make decisions about their bodies so I trust God because I know that he holds the future.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2003

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