Evidently, the translation of the Gospels that the right-wingers are using varies dramatically from the New Revised Standard Version (or all English translations up to this point) where Jesus (supposedly an important figure to all "Christians") says:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5
The NCC's chief, Bob Edgar, a Methodist minister and former Democratic congressman, also chimed in, although he tried to sound more pastoral: "This is a tragedy that shouldn't have happened," he said of the Iraq war, cynically using other people's religion to advance his left-wing political agenda. "These young men and women who paid the ultimate price of their government's call to arms will be mourned by everyone. And across America, tens of thousands - mothers, fathers, spouses, siblings, children and friends - bear a burden of grief we can scarcely imagine." Exploiting Fallen Soldiers emphasis mine
Interestingly, the campus chaplain at a school where I used to teach opposed the war, arguing that a "God of Peace" would be against war. People tried to get the chaplain fired for that and a few right-wing alumni made a big deal about not giving money to the school anymore. (They had given very little money before so it didn't mean much)
But I have yet to find a Bible quote that it is pro-war. The closest is (sing-along with me) Ecclesiastes 3
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Not exactly a pacifist track, but hardly pro-war.
The rest of the Bible that deals with issues of war and peace seems far more pro-peace in tone.
The Hebrew Bible has a number of Peace references:
My Favorites: Proverbs 16 7 "When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them."
Isaiah has a ton of Peace:
Isaiah 2 4 "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Isaiah 57 19 "Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them."
Now that chapter does end with "21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked," but I think the only fair reading is that wicked people have no peace, not that we should decide who is wicked and make war with them. In fact, not having peace may be both the cause and the punishment for the wicked.
And there's more
First Samuel 25 6 "Thus you shall salute him: 'Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.'"
Psalms 29 11 "May the Lord bless his people with peace! "
Psalms 34 14 "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
Psalms 72 7 "In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more."
Note that seeking and pursing peace is equated with departing from evil. Peace is associated with blessings and a model for how we treat each other.
Jesus was decidedly pro-peace: In addition to "Blessed are the Peacemakers, the meek, the hungry, the poor and the merciful" there are constant references to Jesus wishing Peace on individuals, people, even houses. He also has more specific references:
John 14 27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."
Luke 1: 78 "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
This continues through the rest of the Christian Bible
Second Corinthians 13 11 "Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you."
The early church writings continued exploring issues of Peace and through to today.
In fact, at my church we have something called "The Peace" where people go around saying "The Peace of the Lord be always with you" or "God's Peace" or some even flash each other the Peace sign.
Now, I don't want to defend the Crusades, or any of the myriad of wars fought in any relgion's name ('I believe in a God of Peace and Love--he believes in a God of Love and Peace, so I had to kill him...') There does seem to be a movement after Christ from a literal peace of "turn the other cheek" to a metaphorical peace of "the Peace of God which surpasses all understanding." But there is no way that the Peace of God can include war. It just can't. No matter how enlightened you are, if we are talking about "the Lord of peace himself [who] give[s] you peace at all times in all ways" Second Thessalonian 3:16, that can't be 'all times and all ways, except the literal one.'
The fact that right-wingers think (or argue, even if they don't think it) that it is cynical to have churches involved in a statement they hope will lead to peace is beyond bizarre! But it is also a statement about how twisted the political debate on the right is!
We need to stand up every single time any right-wingers tries to pretend Jesus is pro-war (and pro-rich). We have the facts on our side. Reality not only has a well-known liberal bias--it is also pro-peace!