A statement from AME Bishops - Julian Bond

An Appeal for Peace and Respect for National Sovereignty

The following is a letter sent to President George W. Bush from the Council Of Bishops, AME Church, Bishop Adam J. Richardson, President, dated August 9, 2002
Dear Mr. President:

We mourn with all Americans the tragic losses of September 11. It is particularly painful as we approach the first anniversary of that fateful day. However, as we struggle to move forward as a nation, we believe that we must not depart from the principles of justice and righteousness that make for peace and reconciliation. These principles are the pillars of our nation. They also reflect the proposed outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the World Conference Against Racism.

We do not believe that the President of the United States has the Constitutional nor moral authority to impinge upon the sovereignty of other nations. We hold that it is not in the purview of the President of the United States to select the leadership of the Palestinians, the people of Afghanistan, the people of Iraq, nor any other nation.

War must not be pursued as an "economic policy," nor as a vendetta of unfinished business. In this new millennium, the children of America must not be sacrificed on the altar of militarism. As spiritual leaders, we cannot keep silent as the integrity of what it means to be a democracy is increasingly compromised. Although the wheels of propaganda are turning incessantly through the media, we believe that the path our nation is pursuing will lead to catastrophe for America and the nations of the world.

As the children of those who, although enslaved and segregated against, fought to protect the future of this great nation, we urge you to exercise every restraint on the side of righteousness, justice and peace. As we continue to pray for you, we call upon the nation to pray for the peace of the whole world.

On behalf of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, I am

Sincerely,  Adam J. Richardson  
President, Council of Bishops  
African Methodist Episcopal Church