A letter read by Rev. Marti Scott of Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church of Oak Park at the recent Congressional District 7 Voters for a Ceasefire Rally, held in front of Danny Davis’ Chicago office on Nov. 9:
Dear Congressman Davis,
You are an honorable man. You have preached and brought the Word to my congregation. You have stood firmly on issues that benefit the whole community. Therefore, I appeal to you on your proven record to do what is right for the people you represent. I demand that you do everything in your power to end all of the violent harm and military actions to both Palestinian and Israeli citizens. That can only be achieved by a ceasefire.
Over 49 years of ordained ministry, I have witnessed my own denomination, the United Methodist Church, pass resolution after resolution, calling for peace in the Middle East. The atrocities we have witnessed in the Middle East must end because such acts are an affront to our God, the God of Muslims, Christians and Jews, the God of peace.
Our Holy Scriptures chastise us for not living in peace with our neighbors. Isaiah cautioned against coveting and taking other people’s land: “Doom to those who acquire house after house, who annex field to field until there is no more space left and only you live in the land” (Isaiah, 5:8). Likewise Jesus commanded us to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew, 22:37-40).
These are the ways to peace. We bring doom on our communities if we do less. If we sing praises on the Sabbath, and then fire at one another, we are hypocrites. This war was our doing, and we must bring this senseless and godless sin against one another to an end. It subverts justice. It subverts peace. It subverts the will of God.
The late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. warned us that building and funding the military industrial complex would bring this nation to ruin. His dream gave courage to a swelling of voices that reversed our course in Vietnam. We’ve memorized his words. We now need to take them to heart and make his dreams our reality.
The billions of dollars this country has invested in foreign aid to arm Israel has not only destroyed innocent lives in Israel and Palestine, but has also brought death, disability, disenfranchisement, and poverty to Austin and every other U.S. city like it through funds diverted from them to war. The people of Oak Park and River Forest, many of whom have been spared the cost of diminished community programs and loss of sons and daughters, should also not put up with this U.S.-fed atrocity because our neighbors in Austin are suffering — and we dare not be religious bigots and hypocrites.
Sign on to the call for a ceasefire and save the people in both the Middle East and in your congressional district.
I appeal to you again, Congressman Davis, as a man of moral principles: You have proven to us that you can lead and govern to protect and care for your constituency.
Stop the human carnage, stand for a ceasefire.
Rev. Marti Scott is lead pastor of Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park.