By Bob Allen
Paula Clayton Dempsey of the Alliance of Baptists and American Baptist Churches USA head Roy Medley were among 51 U.S. Christian leaders asking members of Congress to support the negotiated nuclear deal with Iran.
The group — which also includes Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way and Red Letter Christians and John Dorhauer, the new general minister and president of the United Church of Christ — urged lawmakers to support the international agreement with Iran and oppose efforts underway in Congress to undermine the deal.
“As Christians, we feel called to speak out for the possibility of peace,” the group said. “As faith leaders from the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons in war, we have a particular responsibility to speak boldly when opportunities arise that lead to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at home and around the world. This historic accord moves us one small step closer to a world free of nuclear weapons.”
The faith leaders said the agreement would “dramatically shrink and impose unprecedented constraints on Iran’s nuclear program,” and help “de-escalate tension in a region that is already suffering the effects of war and violence in ways unimaginable to most of us in the United States.”
They appealed to “the wisdom of Jesus” proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
“This agreement moves us further away from the possibility of war and another nuclear-armed nation,” the faith leaders said. “There is no question we are all better off with this deal than without it. Rejection of this deal would be a rejection of the historic progress our diplomats have made to make this world a safer place.”
Negotiated by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, the agreement would allow Iran to produce a small stock of low-level enriched uranium not suitable for a bomb without further processing, reduce its ability to produce weapons-grade uranium and allow inspection of suspected nuclear activity.