Written on: March 6, 2015
Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare-January 23-25, 2015
As members of the Peacemaking and Non-Violence Committee, Sisters Rose Mary Cauley and Patricia Kelly attended the Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare at Princeton Theological Seminary. Over 158 religious leaders from across the country participated. Bishop Richard Pates, Catholic Bishop from Des Moines, opened the conference with a presentation on why the issue of drone warfare is an urgent and moral issue and why religious communities are concerned.
Armed drones carry out “targeted assassinations” by delivering hell-fire missiles to kill the target. However, it is well documented that hundreds of innocent civilians including children have been killed in many of these attacks.
During the Conference, presentations by University Professors, Lawyers and Clergy spoke about the legality of drones; Legal and Policy issues; Authorization for the use of drones. Reverend Susan Hayward from the U.S. INSTITUTE of PEACE spoke about the theory and practices of JUST PEACE in analyzing Drone Warfare. The criteria of Just Peace are: Just cause, right intention, right relationship, reconciliation, restoration and sustainability. George Hunsinger, Professor of Theology at Princeton, writes that drone warfare sets an alarming precedent that undermines the rule of law. Drones have proliferated to 87 countries.
After two days of presentations, conversation and prayer, and in full awareness of their faith differences and beliefs about war, the attendees came together to issue this statement of recommendations to be sent to the United States Government:
* Acknowledge strikes conducted
* Explain the official criteria for the “kill list”
* Disclose all legal justification for authorization of strikes.
* Ban the sale of weaponized weapons
* Compensate the families of those who have been wrongfully killed
* Seek binding international treaties to implement these objectives
We call on congress to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that has been used as the legal justification for the lethal drone program.
Sisters Rose Mary Cauley and Patricia Kelly will give a presentation to the Motherhouse Community and friends on Drones, Sunday March 15 at 3:45 pm. Awareness and knowledge about drones has become more urgent since the President is asking Congress to again authorize the AUMF (Use of Military Force) in a limited time frame.
We encourage you to learn more about the United States Institute of Peace. Go to www.usip.org./vision-mission-core-principles