The short answer?
Because I joined 99 other clergy — two from each state — in signing an open letter to Congress. That letter ran in Thursday’s (October 17th) Washington Post.
The more complete answer?
I know there are hundreds (at least) of incidents of injustice in our communities, our states, our country, and our world. I know most of those involve our president and all of them make us want to scream, cry, swear, tear our hair, and Do. Something. Until recently, the situation in Yemen was not on my list of things to care about. Maybe that’s true for you too.
So why do I care about Yemen now? Why do I think you should care too? Why did I sign this letter calling on Congress to end US arms sales for the war in Yemen?
The honest truth is, I know effectively nothing about Yemen.
Basically all I know about Yemen is that it occasionally shows up in a headline on p17 of the newspaper. You know, that part of the paper I’m more likely to skim the headline than to actually, you know, read the article. (Yes, I still get a physical newspaper. Yes, I know this makes me old.)
And I know Yemen was played for laughs when Chandler went there on an episode of Friends, like, 20 years ago. Other than that…I don’t know anything about Yemen or Yemeni politics.
But I do know Bread for the World. And I trust them. After about 15 years as a Bread member and participant in many Offerings of Letters and other campaigns, I trust Bread to offer well-reasoned, theologically sound analysis. When Bread says an issue is important, I listen.
Yemenis are trying to survive the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Twenty-four million people – 80 percent of the country’s population – need some form of humanitarian assistance and protection…By the end of the year, the UN estimates that the conflict will have directly or indirectly killed over 230,000 people…More than one million children suffering from malnutrition.–Bread for the World
I don’t know much about Yemen or Yemeni politics, but I do know that if Jesus is, as we Christians purport, the Prince of Peace, then 230,000 deaths due to the war in Yemen is 230,000 too many.
I don’t know much, but I do know that If Jesus is the Bread of Life as we Christians claim, then 1 million children hungry in Yemen is 1 million too many.
Over more than four years of war, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have used US bombs and missiles to repeatedly target innocent civilians, bombing schools, hospitals, homes, and markets, and the war has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.Bread for the World
I signed this letter because I believe our ultimate calling is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Partnering with Bread for the World helps me do that…helps me love neighbors better than I can on my own.
I encourage you to contact your Congresspeople too. There is so much injustice in the world, I know. But now I also know that #YemenCantWait