In response to the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria, President Obama is asking for Congressional approval for U.S. military intervention against the Assad regime. I join all people of conscience in condemning the use of these weapons and grieve for the appalling loss of life. I urge the Obama administration to explore and then exhaust all peaceful diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the ongoing violence in Syria. Not enough has yet been done to rally international support for non-violent response to the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. The Unitarian Universalist Association joins with many other faith groups in urging our government to refrain from the use of military force at this time.
I also realize that there are times when limited military intervention is appropriate to prevent a greater tragedy. Inaction in the face of slaughter is not a moral option. The situation in Syria might at some point require some form of U.S. military intervention. I pray that this will not be necessary, that peaceful methods can be found to safeguard the lives of the innocent people of Syria.
Our General Assembly resolutions over the years all call for nonviolent methods to be the initial response to conflict around the world, but they also recognize that military force is sometimes required to counter aggression. I urge our elected leaders to use diplomacy to deescalate the violence in Syria, and to one day create peace in our world where political conflict is solved with negotiations not bombs, there are no more senseless deaths, civilians will not live in fear, and refugees find their way to a safe home.
I call upon our UU community to work and pray for peace. As we give thanks for the peace and security we enjoy in our lives, we remember the millions of Syrians who have fled from the fighting and are now refugees in other countries. We mourn the loss of life by all kinds of weapons. And we assert that the U.S. government needs to exhaust all non-violent methods to bring about an end to this conflict before resorting to military intervention.