Church members ‘raise hell’ standing for peace, honoring columnist

Heather Scarlett

Four years ago this week, the U.S.-led war in Iraq began.

Yesterday morning, twenty members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent stood on their church steps banging pots and pans for half an hour to draw awareness to this anniversary in a “Stand for Peace.”

The “Stand for Peace” was sponsored by the church’s social justice committee. Sally Burnell, member of the church and Kent State alumna, said the children and adults participating hoped to make enough noise so people driving by would see the signs and know they were standing for peace.

“We were trying to let people know that we, as a religious community, are making a statement,” Burnell said.

Ed Stolish, member of the church and Kent resident, said another event taking place for the anniversary will be a march downtown by the gazebo.

“Nobody is going to stop a war by banging on pots and pans,” Stolish said. “This is all part of a national effort, and the (‘Stand for Peace’) was just a fraction of it.”

“We really believe in why we were out there,” he said, “but I know we can’t change the world. I wish we could.”

The event was also in honor of deceased columnist Molly Ivins, who had spoken out against the Iraqi war, Burnell said.

Ivins’ last column called for people to stand for peace, said Caroline Arnold, member of the church and Kent State alumna. The column read “We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. . We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!'”

“We took Molly Ivins at her word, and we brought pots and pans,” Arnold said.

Contact religion reporter Heather Scarlett at [email protected].