INTRO @ Youtube
Citizens of Conscience, People of Faith: Call for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
America possesses 11,000 nuclear
weapons with many in excess of 20,000,000 tons of TNT [the bombs dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 12,000 tons] yet claims to be based on
Judeo-Christian ethics, but "How can you kill people, when it is written in
God's commandment: "Thou shalt not murder'?"-Leo Tolstoy.
On April 5, 2009, President Obama raised the hopes of millions with his promises in Prague:
"We are here today because enough people ignored the voices who told them that the world could not change. We're here today because of the courage of those who stood up and took risks to say that freedom is a right for all people, no matter what side of a wall they live on, and no matter what they look like. We are here today because the simple and principled pursuit of liberty and opportunity shamed those who relied on the power of tanks and arms to put down the will of a people.
"Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked - that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction. Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.
"As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act"It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, 'Yes, we can.'
"There is violence and injustice in our world that must be confronted. We must confront it by standing together as free nations, as free people. I know that a call to arms can stir the souls of men and women more than a call to lay them down. But that is why the voices for peace and progress must be raised together.
"Let us honor our past by reaching for a better future. Let us bridge our divisions, build upon our hopes, and accept our responsibility to leave this world more prosperous and more peaceful than we found it. Together we can do it.
"Words must mean something [and] violence and injustice must be confronted by standing together as free nations, as free people"[and] Human destiny will be what we make of it."
When FDR met with labor leaders in
1934, after four hours of meeting, he said, 'You've convinced me that you are
right. Now, go out there and FORCE ME TO DO IT.'
What he meant, was that the pressures on a President to stay with the status quo, the forces of the economic and political elites of the country so enormous, that even when a President wants to change direction, he requires the support of forces that will push him in the correct direction.
"Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent." -Gandhi
A Christian Catholic priest who does understand is Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, who said, "It is true that we robbed and killed and pillaged and plundered, but...we kept the faith!"
Charlie explained, 'What Constantinian Christians and Churches--Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical-- try to pass-off to the world and to themselves as fidelity to Jesus. And, while they all are forever challenging each other on matters of whose right and whose wrong about Jesus and the Gospel in a myriad of areas, not one of them ever questions or challenges the other on this matter, for obvious reasons--the throwing stones in glass houses thing." http://www.centerforchristiannonviolence.org/
Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence was a contradiction of what Christ was about. The first and greatest heresy in the Christian faith occurred in the third century when Augustine penned the "Just War Theory" for church and state got in bed together and "our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system."-Dorothy Day
One of the greatest Christian spiritual leaders of all time, Thomas Merton [a Trappist monk who listened to Bob Dylan LP's in his hermitage in Kentucky] was the first religious voice to rise up and speak out against the Vietnam War. He also said, "The duty of the Christian at this time is to do the one task God has imposed upon us in this world today. The task is to work for the total abolition of war. There can be no question that unless war is abolished; the world will remain constantly in a state of madness"The church [meaning all Christians] must lead the way on the road to the abolition of war"Peace is to be preached and nonviolence is to be explained and practiced."
The United Religions Initiative (URI) is composed of citizens from all over the world committed to working together for peace.
They have issued A Call to Conscience: A Ban on Nuclear Weapons, because "nuclear weapons are more of a hazard to our well-being than any problem they seek to address. Now is the time for action"We cannot hold life sacred and at the same time seek security by placing its entirety at risk. We cannot countenance the continued threat to the well-being of our own communities these devices pose nor do we want to threaten the lives of millions of others with such devastation.
"The argument that by threatening to use nuclear weapons a state can deter another state from using theirs, thereby enhancing stability for all, might have been sensible during the Cold War when the USSR and the USA were existential enemies. With this situation long past, it is unacceptably risky to permit the continuation of policies, which are premised on ensuring that the threat to use nuclear weapons is credible. To accept this condition as part of daily life is to accept a morally corrupt pursuit of peace based on terror.
"The current dangerous condition of nuclear weapons deployments cannot be cured by improved management of arsenals nor by improving nuclear weapons. In fact, the more these weapons are perfected the less security the world obtains"All 189 parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty have made an unequivocal undertaking to obtain the elimination of nuclear weapons, as has been unanimously advised by the International Court of Justice. The awakened conscience of humanity demands nothing less. The responsibility for banning nuclear weapons does not lie solely with governments of nuclear weapons states and their citizens. It is a responsibility shared by every sovereign state and each individual." Read more about the URI interfaith circle of diplomats, scientists, scholars, clergy and grassroots activists that are committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
"The passive acceptance and complacency with regard to
the existence of nuclear weapons anywhere on earth is the disease of society
today. This struggle is not only a legitimate one - it is a moral, inescapable
"No government, not even the most democratic, can force us to live under this threat. No state in the world can offer any kind of security against this menace of a nuclear holocaust, or guarantee to prevent it. Already now there are enough nuclear missiles to destroy the world many times over. This issue should unite us all, because that is our real enemy.
"Any country, which manufactures and stocks nuclear weapons, is first of all endangering its own citizens. This is why the citizens must confront their government and warn it that it has no right to expose them to this danger. Because, in effect, the citizens are being held hostage by their own government, just as if they have been hijacked and deprived of their freedom and threatened.
"Indeed, when governments develop nuclear weapons without the consent of their citizens - and this is true in most cases - they are violating the basic rights of their citizens, the basic right not to live under constant threat of annihilation. Is any government qualified and authorized to produce such weapons?" - Mordechai Vanunu, 1987 from Ashkelon prison.