Peace and Justice Groups Protest warmongering "Christians," Hateful Hagee
For Comment: Immediate Release
Malachy Kilbride, Wash. Peace Center, (202) 841-2230 July 18, 2008
Barbra Bearden, Peace Action, (301) 565-4050, ext. 330
WASHINGTON – Monday evening a coalition of peace and social justice groups wishing to foster greater understanding between faith traditions and stopping an illegal and immoral military strike on the nation of Iran will be protesting outside the Christians United for Israel Conference at the DC Convention Center.
When: 5:00-8:00 PM, Monday, July 21st
Where: 9th Street and Mass. Avenue NW, Across from DC Convention Center
What: Protest the right-wing Christians United for Israel Annual Conference, and raise awareness about preventing war with Iran and the importance of respecting world religions.
The Christians United for Israel's (CUFI) Third Annual "Washington-Israel Summit" is a staunchly right wing and militant Zionist gathering. This year it will feature a keynote speech by Sen. Joe Lieberman and appearances by its founder, the controversial Rev. John Hagee. In the news recently for being condemned by the John McCain presidential campaign for making anti-Catholic statements, Hagee continues to raise a lot of questions regarding the political influence of his multi-million dollar non-denominational church and his own bigoted views.
Participants in Monday's protest will be the Washington Peace Center, Jewish Voices for Peace, CODE PINK DC, and Peace Action. The groups, while engaging in dialogue with CUFI attendees, will hand out literature regarding the dire consequences of a naval blockade of Iran, as proposed in House Resolution 362, and why warfare is not Christian.
"Rev. Hagee's expression of his fundamentalist brand of Christianity is offensive, disturbing, and offensive to Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. His group is one of the forces calling for war with Iran," said Malachy Kilbride president of the Washington Peace Center's board of directors. "People of conscience and faith will be outside this gathering to bear witness to peace and a reasoned and rational foreign policy with regard to Iran."
Workshops offered at the conference include "Radical Islam: In Their Own Words," led by neo-conservative Daniel Pipes and former right-wing Senator Rick Santorum; and "The Basics of The Arab Israeli Conflict," led by far-right politician Gary Bauer, president of the anti-choice, and homophobic group American Values. Musician Randy Travis will also perform Monday evening.
"We want the world to know there are Americans who strongly disagree with the right-wing Christians and their love of war and oppression of Palestinians and other peoples in the Middle East," said Gael Murphy co-founder of CODE PINK: Women for Peace.
Sen. Lieberman has been one the most strident advocates for military action against Iran. A senior policy advisor for the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) who has been working on H.R. 362 will address the conference.
Hagee has been criticized by notable journalist Bill Moyers as presumptuously trying to speak for all Christians, by Reform Rabbi Eric Yoffie for holding extremist views and for attacking other faiths such as Islam and Catholicism. The San Antonio minister has lambasted Catholicism as "The great whore," and in 2006 during a radio interview; he said the Islamic faith has "a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews."
In his book "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War," Hagee also made anti-Semitic remarks, including a claim that Adolf Hitler was "carrying out a divine plan." On the CUFI Web site the group describes Iran's president as "a new Hitler of the Middle East."