Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Bahá'í Community of Palo Alto
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) Palo Alto
  • First Evangelical Lutheran Church Palo Alto
  • First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto
  • First United Methodist Church Palo Alto
  • Mountain View Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Friends Meeting
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Palo Alto (Catholic)
  • Social Action Committee of the Redwood City Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship
  • Trinity Church in Menlo Park (Episcopal)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
  • West Bay Chapter, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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Catholic Theologian on Obama in Oslo

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David Maguire is a Professor of Moral Theological Ethics at Marquette University, and author of The Horrors We Bless: Rethinking the Just-War Legacy.  This article first appeared in on December 16, 2009.

Opportunity Lost: Obama in Oslo

Whether Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize is not the point. He didn’t. The fact is he got it, and was gifted with the chance of a lifetime to make a classic speech on the politics of peace-making, a speech that in the glare of Nobel could have attained instant biblical standing.

He failed miserably, producing a hodge-podge that resembled the work of a bright but undisciplined sophomore.

He hoisted his petard on the classical "just war theory," a theory that, properly understood, condemns his decision to send yet more kill-power into Afghanistan.

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Christian Peace Witness: New National Focus

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A shorter name - a wider mission!

At our 2009 summer retreat, leaders from diverse peace fellowships and traditions decided that the mission of Christian Peace Witness for Iraq must evolve to meet new challenges - so we shortened our name but broaden our mission by becoming Christian Peace Witness and calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the removal of all U.S. troops and military bases.  Visit the updated website to learn more, and click on "Join the Network" (right side of screen) to receive monthly e-newsletters.


Torture is a Moral Issue: Palo Alto Conference Report

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MVPJ sponsored this event in 2009:  The Friday night panel was moderated by David DeCosse, Director of Campus Ethics Programs for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.  He began the evening by posing the questions, "How do people of faith speak in the American public square about the issue of torture?  How is it possible to persuade fellow citizens ... that torture is wrong and that the soul of the United States is at stake...?"

"Our nation needs pastors and other religious leaders who are willing to stand up and to speak in a prophetic voice:  'Thus saith the LORD.  Torture is sin.  It's not just illegal under US and international law, it's not just a violation of human rights, it is fundamentally immoral.  Torture is immoral because it violates the image of God in another human being. ... To torture someone is to sin against God, against a fellow human being, and against one's self, so woe unto you who torture,'" declared Rev. Ben Daniel in his address on June 26, as part of the "Torture is a Moral Issue" conference sponsored by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice and many others.

"Just reading the Constitution brings tears to my eyes.  I have this view of America as trying to get it right," sang John Crigler, using the words of a former Army Interrogator.

"Torture is always and everywhere wrong. ... Still, given the poll taken by the Pew Survey published in April of this year, we still have a long way to go. That survey showed that those who label themselves as religious are more likely to support torture as a national security measure; and that practicing, worshiping believers are most vehement. Friends, I hope we go away from this day with the tools we need to turn this around. We are not in a position to speak the truth to power, unless we first tell it to the not-so-powerful, to ourselves and those standing next us at coffee hour," urged Rev. Carol Wickersham, founder of No2Torture.

"I'm an interrogator.  This is what the face of an interrogation looks like.  I've been not torturing for 16 years. The interrogators I've worked with, the interrogators I've trained, know that torture doesn't work.  They know that torture is counterproductive.  They know that torture is immoral," explained Terrence Karney, a former Army Interrogator and Trainer.  Click here to hear Karney's Friday evening remarks on youtube.

To download copies of their presentations, or access videos, click "read more" below.

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Rep. Anna Eshoo Opposes Surge Plans

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On December 3rd, MVPJ joined other organizations led by Peninsula Peace and Justice Center for a gathering outside Rep. Anna Eshoo's office in Palo Alto. Samina Sundas, steering committee member with MVPJ, had contacted Eshoo's office earlier in the day to let them know that we would be there because of the President's speech announcing plans for troop increases in Afghanistan. Shortly after we arrived, Rep. Eshoo's staff came outside to share a statement Rep. Eshoo had just released. (Read the statement below.)

If you live in her district, please contact Rep. Eshoo to thank her for her statement, and urge her to commit now to vote "NO" on any war funding.   Call her local office at 650-323-2984 or 408-245-2339, her Washington D.C. office at 202-225-8104, or send her an email via her website by clicking here.

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MVPJ Attends White House Teleconference on Afghanistan

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The White House held a teleconference today to discuss the President’s announced plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan. I attended representing Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice.

The teleconference didn’t help to overcome the disappointment our steering committee experienced last night listening to the President speakat the US Military Academy, or our deep concerns for the upcoming increase in military forces in Afghanistan, but it did provide me with some hope that there’s more going on than just the “surge.”

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Oppose More War in Afghanistan!

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Join people of faith, veterans, and other peacemakers across the nation to say "NO" to troop escalation in Afghanistan, and "YES" to serious efforts of diplomacy and dialogue.

Wednesday, December 2, 5-6:30pm
Downtown Palo Alto,
in front of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's office
698 Emerson (near Forrest)
(Congresswoman Eshoo was the only bay area representative to vote FOR war funding in the last vote.)
BRING SIGNS, CANDLES (with protective cups so wax does not spell),

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Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice is proud to be among representatives of 34 antiwar groups who delivered an open letter to President Obama strongly opposing his anticipated decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan with the commitment of tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops.  

The document calls increased war spending, in light of the ongoing U.S. economic crisis, an “utter folly” and names the war “a war against ordinary people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan,” which “if continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops and untold thousands of Afghans” and “cause other people in other lands to despise the U.S.” as “the world’s richest nation making war on one of the world’s very poorest.”

The signatories pledge “to keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way possible.  We will urge elected representatives to cut all funding for war. Some of us will be led to withhold our taxes, practice civil resistance, and promote slowdowns and strikes at schools and workplaces.” Signed by veterans and peace activists, religious leaders and labor organizers, the document represents one of the most widespread antiwar coalitions in decades, including many of the organizations which, in 2003, brought millions onto the streets to oppose the U.S.-Iraq war.

Signers to the letter are urging their colleagues to participate in local demonstrations the day after an announcement of troop escalations is made.

The letter ends by warning President Obama, “we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace activists, to build the kind of massive movement -- which today represents the sentiments of a majority of the American people – that will play a key role in ending U.S. war in Afghanistan.  Such is the folly of your decision and such is the depth of our opposition to the death and suffering it will cause.”

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It is time to end the trail of resentment and hatred

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This statemen by Pax Christi USA from Spring 2009 is still quite relevant.  Please read and distribute widely:

As our country teeters on the brink of a deepening military quagmire in Afghanistan, Pax Christi USA lifts up the impassioned cry of Pope John Paul II:

“No, never again war, which destroys the lives of innocent people, teaches how to kill, throws into upheaval even the lives of those who do the killing and leaves behind a trail of resentment and hatred, thus making it all the more difficult to find a solution to the very problems which provoked the war.”

The “trail of resentment and hatred” in Afghanistan has deep roots—a tragic history of foreign occupation, proxy wars and the support of extremist elements—the consequences of which contributed to the rise of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The U.S. “war on terror” has not proven to be an effective framework for ensuring security nor reducing terrorism. Instead, this reliance on military strategies has fueled the spiral of violence and further destabilized the region.

Now, our nation’s leaders are preparing to increase U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. We fear that such a “surge” will only inflame violence in the region, putting at greater risk U.S. and Afghan lives – without building the deeper foundations for a long-term peace.

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MVPJ Statement on Fort Hood Tragedy

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We are horrified by the mass shooting at Fort Hood and lift up our prayers of comfort for the grieving and healing for the wounded. As the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in response to the shootings, "No political or religious ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence." At this moment we once again affirm our unity across faiths. No one should have to walk in fear because someone who shares their religion, ethnicity, or appearance has committed a crime. Just as we mourn together the tragic loss of life at Fort Hood, we will stand together to keep every member of our community safe.

We continue to work and pray for an end to war so that everyone at Fort Hood and every military base can live out their full lives in peace.

The Steering Committee Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice.


Inside the Minds of Nuclear Warriors

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<a href="; title="View unscaled image"></a>Attend this presentation on November 10th at the Los Altos Public Library
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