The once prestigious National Council of Churches (NCC), when still mainstream liberal prior to the 1960s, once advocated foreign policy realism, guided by churchmen and statesmen like John Foster Dulles. Today, it touts far-left, simplistic, anti-American pacifism, unable even to endorse the elimination of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
At its recent board meeting in New York, NCC chief Michael Kinnamon saluted the pacifist heritage of the NCC’s Quaker and Mennonite members, ignoring that more than 30 of the NCC’s 37 member denominations come from traditions that affirm lethal force by legitimate governments. The NCC now embodies the Religious Left’s preference for fantasy over both the Bible and the real world.
Embodying the Religious Left’s utopian dreams is the NCC’s 2010 study paper, “Christian Understanding of War in an Age of Terror(ism), which the NCC is still vigorously promoting. At its General Assembly this Fall, the NCC will elaborate on its support for military “conscientious objectors” Kinnamon proudly told his board that the NCC had backed conscientious objection since the Vietnam War. “We have struggled with this issue over the years, let’s struggle with it again,” he enthused. And he warned: “We are likely to hear repeated assertions out of the anniversary of 9/11 of our need for security.” Evidently the NCC wants to be prepared to knock down any religious voices claiming America can and should defend itself against terror and aggression.
Maybe the NCC study on war and terror could be treated a little seriously if it at least admitted that groups like al Qaeda have committed and continue to threaten mass murder. But Religious Left pacifists of today identify threats to peace only from within the U.S. or its allies. “US military spending is more than 40% of the world’s total – equal to the next sixteen countries combined,” the paper complains. “What future do we see for the cozy relationship between American Christians and the American imperial project?” And it condemns the War on Terror as a “conflict with no clear beginning, without demarcated boundaries, against multiple (often invisible) adversaries… In this war, we soon encounter the limits of violence.”
This study paper opens with a “poem:”
My father is a businessman who travels.
Each time he returns from one of his trips,
His shoes and trousers
Are covered with blood –
But he never forgets to bring me a nice present;
Should I say something?