to the Sept. 11th Attacks
We, the Trustees of the Vermont Ecumenical Council
and Bible Society, share the feelings of outrage, anger, grief and
sadness felt by Americans in light of the horrible, cruel events
of September 11, 2001. We are appalled at the depth of hatred in
the world that leads to acts of violence and destruction.
The God to whom we are committed and whom we worship
calls us to forsake the principle of "an eye for an eye,"
and to replace it with a spirit of penitence, compassion and reconciliation.
We seek to insure the security of all people threatened by violence,
recognizing that all security must be based on the moral principles
of love and justice.
While we believe that the terrorists should be brought
to justice, we are concerned that as a nation we will react to violence
with our own violence, and give way to a spirit of angry revenge.
We know that, if we take actions which forsake our values, among
which are compassion, understanding, and reconciliation, the terrorists
will have succeeded in undermining the moral fabric which has made
this nation great.
We understand that, as the divide between the world's
rich and poor has persistently increased, feelings of hatred and
alienation toward our country have increased. We, the United States,
and all nations must listen more carefully to the cries of people
in need. Understanding the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences
between nations and acknowledging the interdependence between nations
and peoples, let us pray for the seeds of peace to take root and
We call upon all people of the State of Vermont,
but especially the Christian people, to be instruments of God's
peace in the world. We ask all the people of Vermont, Christians
and non-Christians, to pray for our national leaders, that they
may accept the guidance of God's Spirit, be filled with wisdom,
and act with justice, compassion and mercy.
This statement was sent by email on October
2, 2001 to: The Burlington Free Press, The Rutland Herald, The Times
Argus, Senators Jeffords and Leahy, Congressman Sanders, President
Bush and Vice President Cheney. It was mailed to Governor Dean on
October 3, 2001.