Yesterday evening, a group of local residents gathered on the court house grounds in downtown Harrisonburg to pray for peace in Syria and to oppose military involvement in the region. I received word about this event the night before and was interested to hear what the participants would say, as well as observing how many folks would show up.
Shortly before the scheduled start time at 7:00 PM, I briefly spoke to the organizer of the event. After learning that I was a conservative activist, he asked me if I would like to say a few words about this matter. Although I obviously didn’t have anything prepared, I felt honored by this request and accepted. I know that many conservatives would have declined, especially given the event’s ties to the liberal group MoveOn, but I firmly believe it is important to discover and embrace common political ground whenever and wherever it exists.
I oppose U.S. military action in Syria for a multitude of reasons. To name just a few: we would likely be aiding a group that is as brutal as the regime they seek to replace, there is no compelling threat against the security of the United States, and our strikes will inevitably kill scores of innocent civilians who have already suffered tremendously under a particularly horrible civil war. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience ask our brave men and women in uniform to risk and potentially give up their lives in this conflict.
After the speeches, the event concluded with prayers, singing, and a walk around Court Square.
To follow are a few pictures from the event: