This past week the news media has been full of reports stemming from the release of thousands of documents which detail the level of American and British complicity in the deaths of civilians in Iraq, including deaths by torture.
As pastors, priests, theologians, and seminarians in the United States, we cannot remain silent in the face of these acts of violence. The recent revelations from WikiLeaks show that the American and British military in Iraq and Afghanistan have disregarded the jus in bello criteria of the Just War tradition.
Proper 29 Project has been set up to provide a forum for homiletic engagement with our moral culpability as Christians in the United States for civilian deaths and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for witnessing to the gospel of Jesus Christ as we process the news that British, U.S., and Iraqi forces have killed over 66,000 civilians. We acknowledge and lament our corporate responsibility for these acts. Knowing that we all stand under God’s judgment, we hope to speak the truth without creating dichotomies which lessen our culpability.
The Proper 29 Project is a call to our sisters and brothers to address this issue from the pulpit from now until November 21, Reign of Christ Sunday (Proper 29), and to share that witness with a broader audience through this webpage. If you are in a tradition that uses the Revised Common Lectionary, the readings for that day may be found here.
If your church does not follow a lectionary, or follows a different one, we also welcome your sermons on other passages of Scripture. Manuscripts or audio files may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty members, students, and non-parochial clergy who do not ordinarily preach, please join us as well by sending a manuscript.
In Christ’s peace,
Matt Elia, Duke Divinity School, M.Div. student
Rev. Dr. Amy Laura Hall, Duke Divinity School, Associate Professor of Theological Ethics
Dr. Kara Slade, Duke Divinity School, M.Div. student
Rev. Isaac Villegas, Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship
(Spread the Word! Here’s a poster for you to post wherever you can: Proper29Poster)