Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Preachers, choose your words wisely" [L.A. Times Editorial]

On 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday,' churches should remember that their tax-exempt status prohibits them from politicking. And the IRS should enforce that law.

September 29, 2011

On Sunday, hundreds of preachers are expected to celebrate something called "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" by sermonizing about the moral qualifications of candidates for public office. The event is organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization. The alliance is offering legal representation to clergy whose remarks might run afoul of the prohibition of politicking by churches. It's a challenge the Internal Revenue Service should take seriously.

Under the law, not only churches but other so-called 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations must not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." The restriction, which dates back to the 1950s, is based on a sound principle: that organizations characterizing themselves as charitable and receiving a government benefit should refrain from election activity.

For some religious conservatives, this policy isn't just unwise; it's unconstitutional. But tax exemption isn't a constitutional right. It's the creation of Congress, which has the right to attach conditions to that benefit. Put another way, churches may have a 1st Amendment right to comment on elections, but they don't have the right to a tax exemption.

Two other criticisms concern the way the IRS enforces the restriction on politics in the pulpit. One is that the agency's policing of political preaching is so lackadaisical that the effort isn't worthwhile. But that picture is belied by statistics provided by the IRS. In the 2006 election cycle, the last for which the agency has published data, it received 237 referrals and selected 100 (44 churches, 56 non-churches) for examination, finding political activity in 26 cases.

The other criticism is that IRS enforcement has been subjective and sometimes politically motivated. Consider the inquiry into an antiwar sermon preached in 2004 at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. In the sermon, the church's former rector presented a scenario in which Jesus participates in a debate with George W. Bush and John F. Kerry. The preacher didn't endorse either candidate but said that Jesus would have told Bush that his war strategy in Iraq "has led to disaster." In 2005, the IRS wrote the church that its tax exemption was in jeopardy; in 2007, the agency closed the investigation but continued to maintain that the sermon was illegal.

The ambiguous outcome of the Pasadena case suggests that the IRS needs to be more precise in its criteria for continuing with an investigation. The sermon in that instance may have gone right up to the line, but there is a line, and it divides criticism of candidates' policies from opposition to their election.

With the 2012 election season already in progress, the IRS needs to remind the participants in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" that the law will be enforced — in a measured and consistent way.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Monday, September 26, 2011

When Religion Becomes Lethal

with Professor Charles Kimball

We are delighted to welcome Professor Charles Kimball to the All Saints Rector's Forum. An ordained Baptist minister and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Kimball holds a PhD in Comparative Religious Studies from Harvard with a specialization in Islamic Studies.

For the last 25 years he has consulted with Congress, the White House and the State Department and blogged for the Huffington Post. His latest book, When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, examines the ways in which religion can bring out the best and the worst in us.

Kimball’s life-long commitment is to helping find constructive ways to move forward in our interconnected, interdependent world community. His message is both timely and compelling -- come be informed and inspired!

Copies of his book will be available.
Sunday | October 2nd | 10:15 a.m.| in the All Saints Forum
For more information contact The Rector's Office or call 626.583.2711

October 2nd is Blessing of the Animals Day @ All Saints Church!

Bring Your Pets to Church for a Blessing! 9:00 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 2. Please bring your pets, photos of your pets, or even a stuffed animal. All pets are invited to process in the Church and then adjourn to the outdoor worship service on the quad lawn -- including a blessing of animals -- for our annual celebration of St. Francis Day.
Please arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. if you would like to participate in the procession.
[Here's a look at last year's fabulous St. Francis Day Celebration!]

Celebration of Ministries 2011: THE BEST EVER!

Some photos from Sunday's Celebration of Ministries -- and tribute to Anne Breck Peterson on her retirement after 33 years on staff at All Saints Church. (You can watch her sermon -- Finding Fearlessness and Fun on Life's Journey -- on the All Saints website.) With thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this year's celebration such a success!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A foretaste of the heavenly Celebration of Ministries Banquet

Tomorrow the lawn at All Saints Church will be teaming with energy, color, banners, brochures and ministry leaders for the annual Celebration of Ministries Sunday -- where forty-six tables representing over sixty ministries will be outward and visible signs of the many ways All Saints works to make God's love tangible 24/7.

This is what it looked like "backstage" at All Saints Church today as our amazing custodial team worked to set up the infrastructure for the tomorrow's celebration.

Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith there's a ministry with YOUR name on it at All Saints Church! And tomorrow is the day to come find out what it is!

Friday, September 23, 2011

All Saints Stands Against Torture: Joins National Religious Campaign Against Torture action at Dick Cheney's Simi Valley speech

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking Tuesday night in Simi Valley, was unapologetic about many of the most controversial policies of the Bush administration, defending waterboarding as merely 'enhanced interrogations' and calling the government's surveillance program 'one of the greatest success stories of American intelligence.'

Before [Cheney's] talk, about 25 local supporters of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture protested Cheney's visit at the library's entrance on Presidential Drive. The campaign has criticized the arguments Cheney conveys throughout his memoir — that torturing detainees is a useful and acceptable means of punishing and gathering information from them.

"Torture carried out by the past administration has caused one of the darkest stains on our nation's history," said Virginia Classick of Woodland Hills, who organized the protest.

Read the rest of the Ventura Star News report here.


After three days being off campus due to the work on the electrical vault under the north driveway the "Campus Closed" signs are down, the concrete is being poured back over the newly installed vault and we are back up-and-running at All Saints Church!

With thanks to ALL who worked so hard to make this project happen and happen so smoothly -- for flexibility and patience in the face of the relocation of some and rescheduling of other meetings and events -- and most of all for the amazing work of our Buildings & Grounds chair Lonnie Schield and our property manager Adriana Lizarraga.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled agenda of making God's love tangible 24/7!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Statement after the execution of Troy Davis

by the Reverend J. Edwin Bacon, Rector
All Saints Church, Pasadena
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All human beings carry within them the Divine. When the cruel and unusual punishment of the death penalty is carried out-- a blatant violation of the 8th amendment to the U.S. Constitution – a life bearing the image of God is killed in a premeditated manner.

It is most likely that Georgia has committed state sanctioned murder against an innocent human being. Tonight the State of Georgia has executed Troy Davis. Davis’s guilt is in doubt as most witnesses who testified against him in court have recanted stating their testimony was coerced. Another man confessed to the murder of which Davis was convicted, and the ballistics evidence used in the trial was unreliable. How can this be called justice?

We know that the death penalty is applied unevenly. It is disproportionately pursued and administered against African-Americans. People of color and people of low income are more likely to be executed than others in the United States. This immoral, racist, and classist practice has been abolished in most civilized countries. To our shame the United States' use of the death penalty places us in the company of nations known for human rights violations: China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Iran.

The death penalty dehumanizes all persons in whose society it still remains. The Supreme Court’s upholding this execution implicated us all in the murder of Troy Davis. As Coretta Scott King famously said, “Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by a legalized murder.” On this somber night may all people of good will commit themselves ending this evil done on our behalf and to the abolition of the death penalty.

All Saints Church Says "NO" To The Death Penalty

"An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by a legalized murder." -- Coretta Scott King

Photos from today's Death Penalty Vigil in Pasadena's Central Park.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Update from the All Saints Front: Vault Project On Schedule

Today begins Week Two and Phase Two of the "Great All Saints Vault Project."
If you missed the earlier installments click here for a report from last Monday.

The new electrical vault has now been lowered into place and construction workers are preparing it for the switch-over process ... migrating all the All Saints campus electrical and communication components from the old vault into the new one.

It is that process that will precipitate the All Saints campus being without power from Tuesday, September 20 through Thursday, September 22.

That means:
  • No phones.
  • No voicemail.
  • No email
So Remember:

● For pastoral care emergencies call: 626.298.9551 
● For non-emergency matters requiring immediate attention email: 
● For updates on the status of the project keep an eye on this blog

An email notification will be sent out as soon as we’re back “up and running” so watch for that! We appreciate your patience and good humor during this stressful time, and we are very grateful for the leadership of Lonnie Schield, chair of Buildings and Grounds, in guiding us through it.


We're in final preparation mode for "CELEBRATION OF MINISTRIES 2011" ... to whet your appetite for what we know will be another "best ever" celebration at All Saints Church, here's a look back at last year.

[For a map of the tables on the lawn for this coming Sunday, click here.]

[All Saints Church | September 2010] All Saints didn't let a little thing like record heat (103!) get in the way of a FABULOUS celebration of the many ministries that make up the work and witness of All Saints Church! Here's a peek at the energy and excitement of Celebration of Ministries 2010:

And to find out more about any of the ministries on the lawn today, visit the new All Saints website Ministry pages.Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself there IS a place for you here! Let us help you find it!

All Saints in the News: Standing for Justice with Grocery Workers

Left to right, John Steele, board member of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice; Heather Holt, member of 9 to 5 Working Women's Association; Steve Holt, member of CLUE; Robyn Smith, parishioner at All Saints Church, Pasadena, in a show of support for grocery workers outside the Vons in Eagle Rock on September 17. [photo ccredit Ajay Singh Photos]
All Saints Church was well represented in speaking out for ecnominc justice and standing with grocery workers yesterday during eleventh hour contract negotiations. (See Robyn Smith -- pictured above -- from Labor in Talks with Grocery Chain Management -- Highland Park | Mount Washington Patch)

And we rejoice at the good news today:  Grocery Strike Averted -- Los Angeles Times

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The table is set ...


Here are some snapshots from today's Homecoming Celebration at All Saints Church ... more to come!
(And wasn't it a GREAT day???)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Homecoming 2011 -- INVITE Someone!

We're on final Homecoming Countdown at All Saints Church.

“If you think you can’t-go-home-again
Because the might-haves and
the should-haves and the didn’t-quites
have taken hold,
Then think again.”

These words from the All Saints “Homecoming” poem … penned by Anne Breck Peterson in 1982 … once again call us all back to All Saints Church for Homecoming Sunday 2011.

Homecoming Sunday is always a marvelous opportunity to greet old friends and make new ones and members of our Parish Council have outdone themselves in planning an extraordinary and festive start to this All Saints program year. We’ll welcome back both Canterbury and Coventry Choirs at the 9:00 and 11:15 services and (something new!) a variety of foods will be available for purchase from some of the area's most popular food trucks beginning at 10:00 a.m. Here's a link to their menus to whet your appetite.

Ed Bacon has said more times than most of us can count that being a member of All Saints Church is not a spectator sport. So be with us this Sunday as we begin another year together of putting faith into action; of speaking truth to power; of making God’s love tangible 24/7. And take a minute to watch this video, reminding us there are plenty of folks out there who have plenty of reasons NOT to be part of a church. Until they find one like All Saints. And then INVITE SOMEONE to Homecoming so we can say "Welcome Home" to them, too!

[Yes, it has come to our attention that the folks who made this video don't embrace the same theology of inclusion that we do here at All Saints. Nevertheless ... if the message works, use it!]

Friday, September 16, 2011

35 Years Ago Today ...

For many All Saintsers it's hard to imagine an Episcopal Church that doesn't include women in all orders of ministry -- and for others the struggle for women's ordination is part of their lived history in the Church! But it was exactly thirty-five years ago today General Convention paved the way to make these pictures -- and many others like them -- possible.

We give thanks to Louie Crew for reminding us on Facebook this morning that today ... this very day ... is the 35th anniversary of the day that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted to end discrimination against the ordination of women with a resolution that read:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That a new Section 1 of Title III, Canon 9 be adopted, with renumbering of the present Section 1 and following, the said Section 1 to read as follows: Section 1. Theprovisions of these canons for the admission of Candidates, and for the Ordination to the three Orders: Bishops, Priests and Deacons shall be equally applicable to men and women.
And thanks to George Werner for this -- also reminding us that our own rector-emeritus was in the forefront of that important fight for equality:
"I just found D-1 from '76 Convention: Signees: George Regas, Lueta Bailey, Lois Barnum, Dupuy Bateman, James Birney, Leona Bryant, Gordon Charleton, Charles Crump, Mark Dyer, Joe Green, Sally Head, Hugh Jones, Charles Lawrence, Clay Myers, Dillard Robinson, Lucile Roca, Ed Romig, Bob Royster, Bart Sherman, Gordon Stenning, Ross Sidney, Charity Weymouth, Stew Wood & me. Special moment!"
So Happy Anniversary, Church!!

And thanks to all who worked so long and hard to make it happen. May we be given grace to serve the Church in our generation as faithfully as you served it in yours!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All Saints Campus Will be CLOSED September 20, 21 & 22

Construction is well underway to replace the electrical vault located under the north driveway (between the office building and the OCC trailer). Next week the digging will be done and workers will install the new-and-improved electrical vault.

In order to reconnect all of our power and phone service,
the City of Pasadena will turn off all our power on
Tuesday, September 20 through Thursday, September 22.

Our campus will not only be closed for those three days but our entire phone system will be down — including voice mail — and staff will not be able to send or receive email. All on campus meetings have been either cancelled or relocated.

For pastoral care emergencies call: 626.298.9551
For non-emergency matters requiring immediate attention email:
An email notification will be sent out as soon as we’re back “up and running” so watch for that! We appreciate your patience and good humor during this stressful time, and we are very grateful for the leadership of Lonnie Schield, chair of Buildings and Grounds, in guiding us through it.
For any questions (before Tuesday!) contact Davida Jones at 626.583.2729.


La Iglesia de Todos los Santos estará CERRADA el 20, 21 y 22 de septiembre

Se está llevando a cabo una construcción para remplazar nuestra bóveda eléctrica ubicada debajo de la entrada norte de vehículos (entre el edificio de las oficinas y el trailer del OCC). La próxima semana la excavación estará terminada y los trabajadores instalarán la nueva y mejorada bóveda eléctrica.

Para poder reconectar toda nuestra electricidad y el servicio de teléfono,
la Ciudad de Pasadena estará cortando nuestra electricidad del
martes, 20 de septiembre hasta el jueves, 22 de septiembre

No solamente nuestros edificios estarán cerrados esos tres días pero también nuestro sistema de teléfono – incluyendo el sistema de mensajes “voice mail” – y el personal no podrá enviar o recibir correos electrónicos. Todas las reuniones han sido canceladas o reubicadas para esos días.
En caso de emergencia pastoral, favor de llamar al: 626.298.9551
Para otros asuntos que no sean emergencias pero que requieran atención inmediata,
favor de escribir al:
Si desea enterarse del status del proyecto de nuestra bóveda favor
de visitar nuestra página de Internet al:

Estaremos enviando un correo electrónico notificando que ya estamos de regreso en las oficinas. Agradecemos su paciencia y buen humor durante estos momentos estresantes y estamos muy agradecidos por el liderazgo de Lonnie Schield, nuestro presidente del Comité de Edificios y Terrenos, por su guía a través de todo esto.

Si tiene alguna pregunta (¡Antes del martes!) favor de comunicarse con Davida Jones al 626.583.2729.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Work in Progress: The All Saints Electrical Vault Replacement Project is Underway!

You may have read about the "Vault Project" in the Saints Alive newsletter ... if not, then the details are posted below. Suffice to say, it is now a work in progress ... so here's a little glimpse into what it looks (and sounds) like here at All Saints Church today!

Important notice about All Saints campus: The Vault Project

Not many of us knew we have a vault under our “north driveway” (between the office building and the OCC trailer), containing all the power services we get from the city of Pasadena. We were informed this spring that it’s in very bad condition – which is why we’ve had no parking in that area for the past months. We are replacing it in September, and there will be some inconvenience and disruption during the weeks of Sept. 12 and Sept. 19.

From 9/12 through 9/16, you will see a crane, backhoe, jack hammers and all sorts of intriguing activity, as we dig out the old vault and lower the new one into a freshly dug hole. In order to reconnect all of our power and phone service, the City will turn off our power on Tuesday, Sept. 20 and Wednesday, Sept. 21. Our campus will be closed both days; in addition, emails won’t be received by staff (even off campus) and phone calls won’t be answered (no voicemail either). We are cancelling all meetings on campus those two days. (Your staff liaisons will be in touch with you.)

We appreciate your patience and good humor during this stressful time, and we are very grateful for the leadership of Lonnie Schield, chair of Buildings and Grounds, in guiding us through it. If you have questions, please call Davida Jones at 626.583.2729.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflection on 9/11: "I have called you by name and you are mine"

by Susan Russell

As we prepare for tomorrow's events marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I'm remembering the service we held at All Saints Church in Pasadena marking the first anniversary on 9/11/2002.

The candles massed in front of the altar burn in tribute to the names being read from the lectern – Naomi Leah Solomon, Daniel W. Song, Michael C. Soresse, Fabian Soto – as other names scroll above the altar projected on a video screen – John Bentley Works, William Wren, Sandra Wright, Myrna Yashkulka.

The church is silent save for the reading of the names and the careful footsteps of those who come forward to light a candle -- the gentle thud of a kneeler lowered for prayer --the quiet rustle of pages turned in a prayer book.

“American Airline Flight 11”– Anna Allison, David Lawrence Angell, Lynn Edwards Angell, Seima Aoyamma. The names began at 5:46 – the west coast moment when the first plane struck – and will continue through the morning until we gather for Eucharist at noon. The table is already set. The red frontal – blood of martyrs – covers the altar. The chalice is vested, the missal marked. The credence table is ready, too: flagons of wine, silver chalices and ciborium lined up – ready to hold the holy food and drink of new and unending life we will share here at All Saints Church.

“All Saints.” Charles’ deep voice breaks the silence as he begins reading the next segment of the list of names: “World Trade Center, continued” – Paul Riza, John Frank Rizzo, Stephen Luis Roch, Leo Roberts. I remember the ancient words of comfort from the prophet Isaiah, “I have called you by name and you are mine.” As Charles tolls the names of the dead that assurance echoes again and again in my head. These names I do not know – some I cannot even pronounce – each and every one known to God. Beloved of God.

“United Airlines Flight 93”: Christine Adams, Lorraine Berg, Todd Beamer, Alan Beaven. Gone from our sight yet gathered into God’s embrace -- seated at the heavenly banquet we can but glimpse through the sacrament we are preparing to share -- the offering of praise and thanksgiving we will present at this altar.

I look again at the ciborium massed on the credence table – the candles flickering in the polished silver – the light of lives lost reflected in the vessels holding the bread of life. It staggers the mind to consider what they represent – the magnitude of the collective loss of love, joy, hope and possibilities taken on that day a year ago with such sudden unexpectedness.

Takashi Ogawa. Albert Ogletree. Gerald Michael Olcott. The pain of death and loss mingles mysteriously in the promise of life and hope. Body and Blood. Bread and Wine. Strength for the journey and hope for the future. Hope for a world where differences enrich rather than divide. Hope for the end of wars waged in the name of the God who created us not to destroy but to love each other.

Dipti Patel. James Matthew Patrick. Sharon Christina Millan Paz. “Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith there is a place for you here.” Thanks be to God. Alleluia. Amen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

George Regas Reflects on 9/11: "Violence is not the answer to violence"

All Saints' Rector Emeritus George Regas was interviewed this morning on KPFK reflecting on 9/11 and the work of ICUJP ... Intefaith Communities United for Justice and Peace.

Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, Reflects on 9/11

"The greatest memorial to those who died ten years ago will be a world more inclined toward peace." --Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on 9/11

Presiding Bishop reflects on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. from The Episcopal Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

All Saints Marks 10th Anniversary of 9/11

All Saints' Rector Ed Bacon returns this Sunday — a week earlier than usual — to preach at the services marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the day when we were suddenly catapulted into solidarity with countries around the globe who had been dealing with terrorist attacks for years. The Sunday services will offer an opportunity to remember those who lost their lives and their loved ones, as well as to recognize our part in the cycle of violence. The Rector will preach at 7:30, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. on “Twin Towers of Forgiveness: Ground Zero of Healing.” Abel Lopez will preach at the 1:00 p.m. Spanish language service.

For a reflective experience, we invite you to walk the Labyrinth which will be available in the Forum from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are no requirements or rules to be met--just open yourself to placing one foot in front of the other, knowing the Spirit's presence, and letting it touch your sorrows and release your joys.

An interfaith service for 9/11 will be held at St. John's Cathedral, 514 W Adams, L.A. at 2:00 p.m. It will be a meditative reflection and celebration of hope from diverse religious and spiritual traditions. Meet in All Saints' north parking lot at 12:30 p.m. if you would like to carpool or caravan.

Come back in the evening to be equipped for peacemaking at 7:00 p.m. “The Urgency of 9/11/11: Challenging U.S. War-making” features Grammy-award winning jazz musician Bill Cunliffe and his band, who will lead the singing of great songs of peace in the Church. A distinguished panel of interfaith leaders will address the realities of war and violence and explore how people of faith and conscience can move the culture toward justice, peace and reconciliation. Rabbis Leonard Beerman and Laura Geller, the Reverends Carissa Baldwin and Louis Chase will join Hussam Ayloush and Aziza Hasan in the discussion. The Rev. Dr. George Regas will moderate.

If you cannot be with us in person, please join us in spirit. All Saints is sustained by your generosity and your prayers.

Rector Emeritus George Regas Reflects on 9/11 in this week's "Pasadena Weekly"

The Urgency of 9/11

[PASADENA WEEKLY] Mary Regas and I were at LAX on Sept. 11, 2001 for a 7 a.m. flight to New York for a national meeting of progressive religious leaders. We were checking our bags around 5:45 a.m. when great confusion erupted.

“We can’t check your bag,” the person at the counter said softly. “All flights have been canceled.”

I challenged her.

“Get us a flight anywhere on the East Coast,” I said. “It is important that I find a flight.”

In a few minutes she said, “All flights in the country are canceled.” Soon word spread: “New York has been attacked.”

In confusion and grief, we left and drove to the nearest hotel to watch the horrendous television news of the planes flying into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

When we got home, I immediately called my close friend, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, to discuss these tragic events and how we might respond creatively to the disaster. We both called people who had been colleagues in peacemaking activities over the years.

The next day, 15 people gathered with us at All Saints Church. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Unitarians, Buddhists and other traditions — we were all seeking a way to respond that was compatible with our religious commitments.

Three-thousand people from 90 countries at the World Trade Center, Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon died on that heartbreaking day. The enormity of hatred unleashed against America weighed heavily on all of us. The tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 will be on my mind as long as God gives me a memory.

Yet we were all troubled by the cries for retaliation that would later take us into war. Unquestionably, the US should bring to justice Osama bin Laden and the other terrorists responsible for the horror of 9/11; bring them before an international court. This does not require the devastation of war; it demands the work of justice.

Within a week, we came together bringing other peacemakers; after two hours 85 of us had a name: Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP). For the past 10 years we’ve met every Friday at 7 a.m. at Immanuel Presbyterian Church.

From the day ICUJP was founded in September 2001, in coalition with a growing chorus of voices, we pleaded with President Bush and other elected officials to reject fear and embrace the rule of law, to avoid overreaction and pursue reconciliation and, above all else, say that religious communities must stop blessing war and violence.

Our voices fell on deaf ears, as blind patriotism captured America and the Bush administration lied to the American public to gain support for the US attack on Afghanistan and then Iraq.

Over these 10 years, the US has established a permanent state of undeclared war, violence and occupation. Our government has suspended civil liberties, violated human rights and engaged in torture. During these tragic years of war, the US has demonized Muslims, Arabs and South Asians.

We have plundered our communities at home, given tax breaks to our wealthiest citizens and removed essential support from the sick and the poor of our nation.

The brilliant, highly respected economist Joseph Stiglitz says the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will cost the US $6 trillion. And for most of the 10 years, the cost of the wars was put on the nation’s credit card.
As I live with the enormous human needs of our nation and the diminishing budgets throughout the country, and then look at the human and financial costs of these wars of Bush and Obama, I believe we are at a point where people are ready to say: I will give my life and energies to creating a peaceful world. I must stop these wars!

War takes the financial resources that could save lives, feed the hungry, heal the world’s suffering, and uses these resources to destroy — I hate war for that.

If we are to have any hope, there must be a massive act of conscience that says: Stop the wars; use our resources to heal and unite the human family.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, 9/11/11, come to All Saints Church in Pasadena and hear how we can renew our efforts for peacemaking.

For more information on "The Urgency of 9/11" visit the ICUJP website.