By Louise A. Barile
Updated March 27, 2003 01:00 PM
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“The West Wing” star Martin Sheen appeared at a Los Angeles prayer vigil Wednesday with his mouth covered by a piece of duct tape which read “Peace,” reports The Associated Press.

The actor and outspoken peace activist, 62, joined approximately 60 protestors and carried a large painted cross, reports AP. Although he didn’t speak, the Rev. Michael Kennedy of Delores Mission Catholic Church in East Los Angeles read a statement from the actor critical of the war in Iraq.

“Nationalism and militarism have become the gods of our idolatry at the expense of our humanity,” Sheen wrote, according to AP. “By some demented form of logic the men, women and children of Iraq are relegated to ‘collateral damage’ as the dogs of war slouch toward Baghdad.”

The purpose of the vigil was to pray for the safe return home of U.S. forces and to show support for two Catholic priests and one activist who have been on a liquid diet since March 5, organizers tell AP.

This isn’t the first time that Sheen, who plays U.S. president Josiah Bartlet on the NBC political series, has made his anti-war stance public. Earlier this month, he defended the right of Hollywood peace activists to express their views in an opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times. Celebrities, he wrote in the Times, “are often called to give voice to the voiceless and a presence to the marginalized.”