Statement on Military Action in Iraq

I cannot stand war. I have enormous respect for Mennonite and other pacifist traditions, but when I see the mass human slaughter going on, whole tribes driven from their ancient lands by their 100s of 1000s, when I hear of even children being beheaded and crucified, when I see Yazidis trapped in desert mountains and dying, “doing nothing” does not seem to me to be a legitimate option. We have to take a stand somehow. I do not claim to be an expert on the details of what “taking a stand” looks like. I trust that within the scope of the limited remit of this current military intervention, the expertise of our armed forces will keep civilian casualties to an absolute minimum.

I have enormous respect for those who would vote against the war and understand their reasoning. There is a risk that we could make matters worse – and that does worry me. With that in mind, I think that it is sad that any Frontbencher has had to resign over what should be an extremely grave matter of conscience.

What I cannot and will not respect are those who somehow seek to find justification for ISIL’s actions. That frightens me because I think “I am Christian. If ISIL beheaded me, would you try to justify that too?”