3.04.2007

Selma and the Iraq War: Rev. James Jackson's comments before the U.S. invasion

In doing research on some of the individuals involved in today's events in Selma, Alabama, I came across the words of Rev. James Jackson, pastor of the historic Brown Chapel AME Church, on the Iraq War.

The reverend's words are in From Alabama pews, a wary look at war, an article published in The Christian Science Monitor on March 10, 2003--just 9 days before the commencement of the war.

Here are a few excerpts:

Like the rest of the country, people in Selma were shaken by the attacks of 9/11 - and Brown Chapel saw an increase in attendance for weeks, says the Rev. James Jackson, the pastor here.

But in a place where memories of tear gas and cattle prods linger, the sudden display of hatred also had less power to shock. And the tradition of non-violent resistance remains a powerful force in the minds of many.

"We know something about terrorism," says the Reverend Jackson, simply. A student in Selma during the voting rights marches, he vividly remembers the fear of being attacked while walking from school to church. "We must not forget the lessons of 9/11," and indeed, he says, there are times when military action may be necessary. But ultimately, "real peace does not come from war."