As the threat of nuclear weapons being used continues, Christian CND Development Manager Russell Whiting reflects on the state of affairs.
The war in Ukraine has been raging for nearly eight months. While it has been relentlessly terrible and damaging for those who have been directly affected and the wider region, media coverage in the UK has varied depending on other headlines. One thing which can always guarantee to make the headlines however, is the threatened use of nuclear weapons.
We’re almost in danger of becoming desensitised to these threats. At the very start of the conflict Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on ‘high alert’, then we had the various animations and simulations on Russian TV showing what a nuclear attack on or around the British Isles would look like, and more recently Putin has said he will use every possible weapon at his disposal to defend Russia, adding ominously “I’m not bluffing”.
For too long our political leaders have talked about nuclear weapons as if they were abstract concepts, rather than weapons of mass destruction capable of changing the world which we have been given by God to steward, beyond recognition. I was recently at an event where I was interviewed by a journalist who asked if those of us opposed to nuclear weapons were being over the top in our assessment of the danger levels, I responded by saying when nuclear weapons are being discussed it isn’t possible to be over the top!
Against this backdrop, Christian CND was invited on to BBC Local Radio for the ‘Sunday Morning Round’ on 2 October. This involves sitting in a studio and being interviewed on various local radio stations. On this occasion I did 17 interviews in just under two hours, from Jersey to Sheffield and most point in-between.
Throughout the interviews I was asked about the argument that nuclear weapons have prevented wars – sadly in the short time I wasn’t able to list even the wars the UK has been involved in over that time, as well an mentioning that nuclear weapons haven’t deterred Russia from annexing various regions in Ukraine.
It’s important not only to make people aware of the dangers, but also to give hope. It is not inevitable that nuclear weapons will be used in Ukraine, or indeed ever, and the vast majority of people both in the UK and globally, want to see a world without nuclear weapons. As Christian CND we believe we are called to work and pray for a nuclear weapons-free world. That’s why we continue to call on our government and others to increase moves for peace talks, and why we pray without ceasing for Vladimir Putin to change course, and negotiate a meaningful and lasting peace settlement.
You can hear the interview from BBC Radio Merseyside here