WASHINGTON – A group that opposes possible military action in Iraq has launched the second ad in a three-part series that features the U.S. leader of the church to which President Bush belongs.
Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, chief ecumenical officer of the United Methodist Church, co-stars alongside actress/comedienne Janeane Garofalo in the 30-second spot. In the ad, Talbert, 68, says making war against Iraq "violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ."
"Iraq hasn't wronged us. War will only create more terrorists and a more dangerous world for our children," says Talbert, who also opposed the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
The ad, organized by the True Majority e-activism group, was unveiled by The National Council of Churches Thursday. The series of ads is part of the "Win Without War" campaign.
The leaders of True Majority co-sponsored the anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and several other cities earlier this month. True Majority is an offshoot of Sensible Priorities, a tax-exempt organization made up of 600 business executives, religious groups and former military leaders who encourage activism on a number of issues, including environmental and human rights, reduction in poverty and disarmament.
The group was put together under the aegis of Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, who is also president of True Majority.
Duane Peterson, Chief of Stuff for Ben & Jerry's, said that the ad series is running over a three-week period on cable news stations in the New York and Washington markets only.
"We think people who are interested in the current affairs of this country are watching those networks," Peterson said. "A lot of people in those towns are the decision-makers, the people focusing on the current crisis."
Peterson said the whole series, which began with an ad launched on Tuesday, the day President Bush delivered his State of the Union address, cost $200,000. Sensible Priorities as well as contributions from the 115,000 members of True Majority bankrolled the ad, he said.
The first ad featured actress Susan Sarandon and Edward Peck, the former ambassador to Iraq under President Reagan.
In the first ad, Sarandon asks, "What has Iraq done to us?" Peck replies, "The answer is nothing."
The ads were bought from the cable news operators that carry CNN and Fox News in those cities. Peterson said CNN and Fox News networks refused to carry the ads nationally.