EPF participated in the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare in Princeton, New Jersey, September 27-29. Full report from our EPF delegates appears below. Don’t miss out on this chance to get in on the ground floor on this important nonviolence initiative. Shown here are the Episcopalians at the conference: top row from left: Bob Lotz, EPF delegate and Secretary to the EPF National Executive Council; Tim Miller; and Allie Graham, EPF delegate. Seated are Mary Neznek and Pauline Muchina.
A report from the field on the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare Conference
By Allie Graham and Bob Lotz, EPF delegates
The lethal use of remote-controlled pilotless aircrafts was the topic of a lively three-day conference of the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare held at the Erdman Center of the Princeton Theological Seminary in late September. Nearly 80 attendees from over 15 faith traditions, including Roman Catholicism, several Protestant denominations, prominently the United Church of Christ, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam (and five Episcopalians), and 24 states plus D.C. discussed the ways in which armed drones are being used in military contexts, attacking both military and civilian targets and creating lasting damage to both victim and remote pilot.
Drone warfare seems like a great idea to the Pentagon and many in government, because it offers a technological way to get around the touchy issue of putting “boots on the ground.” One presenter told of visiting a Congressional office to talk about the downside of drone warfare, only to be asked, “What? There’s a downside?” Since there’s no direct human contact between a drone pilot in Nevada or Iowa or central New York state, and an “enemy,” drones avoid some objections to US involvement in foreign wars and conflicts. In fact, this is precisely the moral hazard that people of faith must deal with – war that has no body bags coming home, that only kills “others,” people of color and many if not mostly civilians. As people who have a commitment through our various faiths to love our neighbors and work for peace among all peoples, we cannot let this go unchallenged.
The Washington, DC-based Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare, a partner in the INDW, asks three things of the US Government:
· End the CIA’s authority to carry out drone strikes; if there must be drones, they must be under the more transparent Dept of Defense control.
· Maintain meaningful human control over lethal weapons; no autonomous, algorithm-based targeting.
· Study the long-term impact of drone warfare on social stability in target countries and perceptions of their civilians about US role. Are we creating more terrorists?
The INDW has made several half-hour videos which are available for individuals and congregations, along with other materials at interfaithdronenetwork.org.
Through films, lectures, panel presentations, handouts, and workshops, conference attendees learned ways to better understand the issues surrounding drone warfare, why it is of specific concern to people of faith, and ways to advocate towards an end to these programs.
If you are interested in joining the campaign to end drone warfare, or would like to learn more, please let us know. The EPF would like to have an action group working on this project.
Convener for Gun Violence Prevention,
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
810.488.6458 (cell) bob.lotz.epf
An invitation from
EPF NEC Chair,
Rev. Bob Davidson
Year of Action Celebrations in
Bristol and Providence,
80th Anniversary Commemoration!
Sunday, November 10, 2019
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
399 Hope Street
A Commemoration of Witness
4:30 PM Evensong
Preacher: Rt. Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown
Bishop of Vermont
Followed by A Celebration of Peace
5:30 PM Fundraiser
Swing Band, Wine, Beer & Soft Drinks,
Hors D’oeuvres & Silent Auction
Monday, November 11, 2019
Center for Reconciliation
271 North Main Street
9:00 – 11:00 AM
Benefit Street’s Mile of History
sponsored by Center for Reconciliation
11:30 – 12:30
Keynote & Panel Discussion
12:30 – 2:30 PM
Byron Rushing, Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1983-2019
Representatives of Racial Reconciliation Ministries,
Province I, ECUSA
It is with great sadness that EPF announces that Rev. Ronald Miller, husband of former EPF Executive Director, Mary Miller, a retired priest in the Diocese of Maryland, died on September 30, aged 83. Ron served many congregations in Baltimore including St. Mary the Virgin, Church of the Advent, St. James’, Lafayette Square, and St. Bartholomew’s. He also served for a period on diocesan staff, and more recently sang in the choir at the Cathedral. His ordained ministry spanned over 55 years in the dioceses of Washington, DC, Pittsburgh and Maryland. Mary died last September. Please keep Mary and Ron’s son,Timothy, in your prayers. Ron’s memorial service will be on Thursday, October 17 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 East University Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21218. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, will preach, and the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of Maryland, will celebrate. Clergy who would like to process should arrive by 9:30 a.m. and wear white stoles.
If you are in the Cleveland, Ohio, area and care deeply about abolition of the death penalty, this opportunity, co-sponsored by our EPF Chapter at Trinity Cathedral, is for you.
Our upcoming schedule:
Looking forward, EPF will be in:
Oct. 12-24: Palestine
Nov. 2-3: St. Luke’s, Altoona, PA
Nov. 9-11: EPF 80th Anniversary, Bristol and Providence, RI
Nov. 21-23: Borderland Ministry Summit, St. Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson, AZ
Dec. 4: National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence (TBD)
Dec. 22: National Day of Reparations (FOR) TBD
Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! Steven and I are planning to spend the winter in the southwest, heading up through California and then into Oregon and Washington. We will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, contact me at epfactnow.
Until next time,
power to the peaceful!
Sunrise over Penobscot Bay, Maine
"This world is your world. Take it easy, but take it." Woody Guthrie