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John Harvard's Journal

The Church as Forum

January-February 2003

Memorial Church was on several occasions in the fall term the site of strong talk about the conflicts of the time. On October 2 former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis '48, Nf '57, said at Morning Prayers that if the purpose of the September 11 terrorists was to destroy our faith in American values, they have succeeded, for "in the last year this country has retreated significantly from two of its core values: protection of civil liberties and commitment to the rule of law." In a sermon on October 6, Gomes said that "bombing Iraq into oblivion as payback to those who have done us injury, at this moment seems to me to be the wrong thing to do." He declared, "As a citizen I demand a better excuse than revenge, or oil, for the prosecution of a war that is likely to do more harm than good, that will destabilize not only the region but the world for years to come, and that, worst of all, will confirm for all the world to see our country's reputation as an irrational and undisciplined bully who acts not because it ought, but because it can." The full text of the sermon, "Patriotism Is Not Enough," may be found at