Peace & Civil Liberties Committee
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica
On October 1, 2002, 18 people met to form a new Peace Task Force. Discussion centered on the impending war in Iraq and its implications, but the group's focus has since widened to include many peace-related and civil liberties issues. In November 2002, they drafted a Statement of Conscience that was ratified by the congregation at a special meeting.
Statement of Conscience Regarding U.S. Unilateral Military Action
This Statement of Conscience was adapted by the Peace Committee of the Faith in Action Program, from a Statement of Conscience written by the minister and members of our church. It was approved by our Board of Directors, and was accepted as our church's public position on the issue at a special congregational vote held on November 10, 2002.
We believe it is in the best interests of our country and of world peace for us to act in concert with the United Nations, and not unilaterally, to bring about Iraq's compliance with United Nations resolutions concerning weapons of mass destruction and respect for human rights.
We believe that seeking unilaterally to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, especially through force of arms, will incite further hatred and violence between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds and will impede efforts to suppress terrorism, restore stability in Afghanistan, and end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
We believe that the idea of preemptive military action is both against international law and accepted standards of national sovereignty.
We believe that both compassion and prudence dictate that military force should be used only when every other option has been found wanting and when the threat posed by inaction can be convincingly shown to be greater than the destruction and loss of life inherent in military action.
Because of these beliefs, the Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica urges the government of the United States of America to refrain from military action against Iraq without United Nations approval. Instead, we urge our government to work diligently within the framework of the United Nations to pressure Iraq to dismantle its capacity to make, deploy, and use weapons of mass destruction and comply with all United Nations resolutions in the most immediate future.