The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches was in Des Moines last night to deliver a sermon on “staying the course” toward peace. Bob Edgar, a former member of Congress and a Methodist minister who has led the National Council of Churches for the past three years, says there may be even more deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq after the “formalized” military combat than before. Edgar says it’s important for Protestants to work with their Muslim and Jewish colleagues to find a way folks can live in peace rather than violence.Edgar just returned from Jordan where the National Council of Churches brought Muslim and Christian leaders from Iraq together for the first time to talk about building a democracy in their country. Edgar says the message, hopefully, is that Iraq’s religious community can “model” better behavior for Iraqis. Edgar says many Christians believe God showed “shock and awe” by “sending words through Jesus that talked about loving one’s neighbor and loving one’s enemy.” Edgar says working to lift people out of poverty will help curb terrorism.Edgar says poverty is the “fertile ground on which much of the terrorist activity takes place.” Edgar praised the leaders of mainline Protestant and Catholic churches in the U.S. for speaking out against war with Iraq. Edgar says it took “50-thousand body bags for organized religion” to speak out against the war in Vietnam. While religious forces were unable to stop the war with Iraq, Edgar says people of faith were able to educate Americans about “alternatives to war.” Edgar spoke last night at the First Christian Church across the street from Drake University.
You are here: / / Learder of Council of Churches visits Des Moines