GOOD NEWS, ACTION REQUIRED, & MORE . . .
Here is good news – but coupled with the need for action!
The cheering news is the recent United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed on the 7th of July by the majority of the world’s countries. However, need for action arises because some countries have decided to go their own way and the UK is one of them.
So what can be done? It is very important to spread knowledge about the situation. The information below should help:
Many people think nuclear weapons just have to be accepted, but the Holy See is working to create a public opinion that the world is safer without them. To this end, there is now going to be a special conference in Rome on nuclear disarmament. It will take place in November. This move follows on from the new UN Treaty, which was itself a result of three earlier conferences about the awful consequences of nuclear weapons. At one of those, Archbishop Tomosi pointed out how the mere possession of these devices was already unethical.
Before this Ban Treaty, nuclear weapons were the only mass destruction weapons not prohibited, even though they are obviously worse than any of the others and enormously threatening to the human race and planet. It is hoped the bishops in the nuclear weapon countries will add their voices to the November conference.
In March, Pope Francis said the doctrine of nuclear deterrence was ineffective against threats like terrorism, asymmetrical conflict, environmental problems and poverty. He stressed that these threats are “even greater when we consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences that would follow from any use of nuclear weapons, with devastating, indiscriminate and uncontainable effects, over time and space.”
The conference at the Vatican in November aims to be another step on the way to nuclear disarmament. Christians and all people of conscience can play a part in disseminating information about the new UN Treaty and in pushing for compliance.
It is so good to see the desire for peace in other faiths. It is now August and another remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has occurred. In June, I was invited to make an address at the London Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park. Reverend Nagase there had been awarded a Pax Christi medal. In May, members of the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament held an interfaith side meeting when attending the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee Conference in Vienna. We had a Muslim speaker and a Buddhist, as well as a Christian. This went very well.
While at the PrepCom in Vienna, we made contact with several of the delegates, whose names we had asked for during our ‘Embassy Walk’. We do this before going to the UN meetings. (After a service in St Martin in the Fields, we visit the London embassies of nations associated with nuclear weaponry.) We approached the Holy See desk, in the main UN chamber, and arranged an interview.
This Spring, Cardinal Vincent Nichols took four Imams to meet Pope Francis in Rome and, at the big Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Symposium in Morden, the first congratulatory message read out was from the Interreligious Department of the Vatican. Members were also invited to their huge Jalsa Salana convention. The motto they use reads, ‘Love For All, Hatred For None’. (You may have seen this message displayed prominently in the background on the television news after recent atrocities in London.)
May the efforts of peace makers everywhere result in nuclear weapons being banished from our beautiful world and this diabolical threat to God’s wonderful Creation abolished.
Michael and Patricia Pulham.
The United Nations prohibits nuclear weapons
… but the UK government refuses to have anything to do with it. The government statement on the treaty says “However, we will not sign the treaty which has been published today. As we have previously made very clear, we do not believe that this treaty will bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons.”
We find rather odd the idea that a treaty banning nuclear weapons will not get rid of nuclear weapons. Anyway, the whole statement is available here
More on the treaty: http://www.icanw.org/the-treaty/
What can you do?
Write to the Prime Minister: http://act.cnduk.org/lobby/116
Write letters to your local paper, parish magazine, faith newspaper, etc and let people know about the treaty, how the government has reacted, and what people can do about it.
Encourage your local mayor, parliamentarian and/or religious leader to endorse the Joint Statement of Legislators and Religious Leaders for a Nuclear Weapon Free World. http://www.unfoldzero.org/26-september-2015/#
And help promote the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons which takes place on 28 September. Join people around the world in celebrating the vision of a nuclear weapons free world, raising awareness and calling on their leaders to advance nuclear disarmament.
Trident is Britain’s submarine-based nuclear weapons system. There are four submarines. Each carries up to 48 nuclear warheads. There is always one submarine out on patrol, ready to fire its missiles. Every warhead is about seven times as destructive as the atomic bomb that annihilated Hiroshima. That one killed about 140,000 civilians. Many more have died from that one event since.
As Christians we believe that nuclear weapons are immoral and blasphemous. They are a sign of humanity’s disobedience to God’s law for us, and are also a rejection of international law. Such weapons are immoral and do nothing to increase the security of Britain and the world.
Many churches agree and have issued statements against nuclear weapons. Statements from Church Leaders poster
Download a copy of CCND Churches Guide and give a copy to your church (or ring the office and ask for a free printed copy).
Download leaflets and posters to help you in your campaigning: Free Downloads
Download a copy of A Safer World – Treating Britain’s harmful dependence on nuclear weapons, produced by Medact.
Watch (and share) a short film on last year’s Month of Action Against Trident:
If you think £205bn of taxpayers’ money could be better spent on the NHS, education, housing, and green energy, than on a monstrous and outdated weapons system, add your name to the call to Scrap Trident!
Get a copy of the NCPO (Network of Christian Peace Organisations) Trident Briefing