The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Religious leaders to Iran

with 7 comments

iranian-girl-with-ice-cream.jpgIran streetJeff Carr, writing at God’s Politics, tells of beginning a trip to Iran today (Feb. 17), with 13 other American religious leaders. Its purpose: “to deepen dialogue between religious and political leaders in the hope of defusing tensions between the U.S. and Iran.”

Mother and son

He tells of some reactions:

“Last weekend I met an Iranian couple here in Washington, D.C., at an event and mentioned my trip to them. They were, of course, very interested about the purpose of my visit, and shared with me some of the beautiful places and sights I should visit while in Iran. But after this somewhat superficial exchange, our conversation began to deepen, as they expressed to me their sadness that the American people don’t really know and understand the Iranian people – that we only know them through the prism of their president and the media images that are beamed through our televisions.

Iranian skiers

“And then the woman became even more serious, and with deep sadness and concern in her eyes asked, ‘Do you think the U.S. will attack my country?’ Though she phrased it as a question, the look in her eyes revealed the hope she had that the answer would be no, but also the real fear that it just might be possible. And then she said, ‘I’m so glad you are going, and I hope you are successful. When you return, please tell the American people what you have seen and how different the Iranian people are than what the media portrays.'”

Tehran streets

Bravo. Way to go, travelers. Wish I could go with you. People talking to people is how war is prevented. I’m hoping to pray each day (Feb. 18-25) that God will bless your journey. Jeff plans to blog each day at Words Not War with Iran

Follow along, and join me in praying, if you like. The photos with this post are scenes from life in Tehran, recently sent me by my friend Homeyra. Aren’t they beautiful? Can you even imagine bringing destruction upon them?
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Written by Monte

February 17, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Iran

7 Responses

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  1. Naj, I read the two pieces you mention. Still left out of the entire American hostage story is a big part of the “why”of it: Scarcely 25 years earlier, the American Embassy in Tehran had been the headquarters of the CIA’s successful covert efforts to de-stabilize Iran and force the King to remove democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadeq from power, replacing him with a government more to the US government’s liking.
    It is no wonder that during the revolution, suspicions would abound that the U.S. would do it again, and that the people in the Embassy would be the operatives.
    To Americans, who didn’t (and don’t still, for the most part) know about the CIA’s removal of Mossadeq, the occupation of the Embassy just seems like out-of-the-blue craziness. But it is not so strange when one knows just a little more of the sinister role America and Britain have played in Iranian history.


    February 19, 2007 at 9:20 pm

  2. Ahaaa naj, I don’t think I have ever prayed for choking. The thought of it did make me smile.
    I can pray that when the ‘shameless’ are confronted by Truth they will have the grace to realize all their thoughts that have led to pain and suffering. It seems OK to pray for this in others because I have chosen this same confrontation for myself.
    I hope your week is gentle.


    February 18, 2007 at 11:49 pm

  3. Tony Snow (on meet the press)

    “the 3.5 weeks march to Baghdad was unprecedented in the history of military”

    this man is so shameless he is still mulling over how right he was that although he didn’t have a signed letter from “khomeini”–mind you he dies 16 years ago!–that is a FACT that Iranian government is involved!!!!

    These people are SHAMELESS.

    Can you pray they all choke in their lies?


    February 18, 2007 at 8:13 am

  4. I’ll be praying along with you. The Bush-Cheney administration has consistently rebuffed diplomatic overtures during its term and I am concerned that they are hellbent on a war. We can increase our valuable people to people ties and help counter the fear-mongering being propagated, particularly in the US. Its good to see greater due skepticism this time around; nevertheless, are there enough checks on executive directives to go to war? What would happen if we had a Gulf of Tonkin style incident?

    Here’s praying that good sense will prevail, and looking forward to an end to this dangerous, calamitous Bush-Cheney administration.


    February 18, 2007 at 5:16 am

  5. It is imperative, in my opinion, to show the world the images of contemporary Iran.

    The hostage crisis images are ALL tattooed in the mind of a nation, as the soul image of a country. I like to invite you to read this

    and maybe this


    February 17, 2007 at 10:20 pm

  6. Brilliant application of that great story! I hadn’t remembered that part of it. SO TRUE. Leaders have to convince us that adversaries are animals before they can get us to go to war. People knowing people gets in the way of that. As so often the case, you got it ten miles deep and made it better.
    Thanks, Sharm!


    February 17, 2007 at 8:42 pm

  7. Hi M
    In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis, suggests that war (in his case WWII) is only possible if generalizations made about the so called enemy are believably awful. I have noticed that if we are left to our own devices, un-powerful, poor humans will not only dangerously seek peace but actively attempt to know and understand others in a face to face kind of way. Screwtape bemoans this unfortunate human tendency and instructs Wormwood to guard against this in the human they are trying to corrupt. Using ‘fear’ is the strategy Screwtape recommends.

    I too will pray for this trip, that it will bring discomfort and urgency to the travelers and those of us who read. Also, with the discomfort, I will ask for the energy to continue to carry The Message and the courage to stick to The Old Way.

    I think I’ll re-read The Screwtape Letters. It has been a long time and Lewis has a way of getting under one’s skin.
    Thanks for the post


    February 17, 2007 at 4:19 pm

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