US Methodist Bishop
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A high-ranking Methodist bishop will appear in an anti-war commercial aimed at convincing President Bush, a fellow Methodist, that a U.S. attack on Iraq would violate "God's law."
The 30-second commercial, featuring Bishop Melvin Talbert and actress Janeane Garofalo, is expected to be broadcast beginning Friday to New York and Washington viewers of the CNN and Fox cable news networks, said Stephen Drachler, a United Methodist spokesman in Nashville.
The commercial begins with a warning that some scenes may not be suitable for children. Garofalo suggests that up to a half-million people could be killed or wounded if the United States invades Iraq.
"Do we have the right to do that to a country that's done nothing to us?" Garofalo asks.
Talbert, former bishop of Seattle and San Francisco, teaches at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville. He is the chief ecumenical officer of the United Methodist Church, which has an estimated 8.4 million U.S. members.
"Iraq hasn't wronged us," said Talbert, who joined a 13-person delegation of religious leaders on a five-day peace mission to Iraq that ended Jan. 3. "War will only create more terrorists."
TrueMajority, an advocacy organization started by Ben and Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen, produced the commercial. It is sponsored by the National Council of Churches.
"It basically raises the issue of letting the inspectors do their work," said Bob Edgar, the council's general secretary and a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania.
In a statement, Talbert criticized the Bush administration's push toward war to remove Saddam Hussein.
"No nation under God has that right," Talbert said. "It violates international law. It violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ."
(This story can be found at: http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/)