Nuclear Weapons: Status Quo, Reduction, or Elimination?

Here’s a fact that may prove disturbing to serious followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace:  more than 6,000 nuclear weapons exist in the USA today, ready for deployment.

Nuclear weapons, instead of protecting us, now threaten us and people everywhere.  President Obama, without suggesting a treaty, in June 2013 proposed a reduction “by one third” of the nuclear weapons held by Russia and the USA, but Russia wants other nuclear powers to join negotiations.  Nine nations now reportedly have more than 17,000 weapons.  What options do concerned people have  for encouraging that nuclear weapons either be reduced or eliminated?

Since August is Nuclear-Free Future Month, some congregations or individuals might want to write their Congressperson urging that the US start negotiations on a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.  It’s time to consider doing so when even former “cold warriors” like Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, William Perry and Sam Nunn called for complete elimination of nuclear weapons in the Wall Street Journal in 2010.

On a more modest scale, at least 22 members of Congress are calling for significant reductions in Pentagon spending, and the nuclear arsenal probably would receive major cutbacks.  www.peace-action.org, search “nuclear weapons.”

In the House of Representatives, Ed Markey introduced the “Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act,” HR 1506, which would make cuts to spending on nuclear weapons totaling more than $100 billion over the next decade.  If your representative has not co-sponsored this bill, suggest action.  www.fcnl.org

A further request to President Obama could be that he clarify the U.S.A.’s nuclear posture by announcing that the USA will not use nuclear weapons first under any circumstances.  Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: www.wagingpeace.org

In addition, the Obama administration proposes to spend $7.87 billion on the National Nuclear Security Administration for research and maintenances of the US nuclear arsenal.  Some letters to the President might question the mixed messages.  www.nukewatchinfo.org

Other critical issues may flood the media now, but your phone calls, letters and emails about nuclear weapons deserve your efforts on behalf of the survival of humanity.

More resources:
www.icanw.org International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
www.forusa.org, search “nuclear weapons”
www.warresisters.org, search “resources” for “Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki”
www.elca.org for earlier statements about nuclear weapons
www.ploughshares.org
www.globalzero.org/en
www.takepart.com/zero

From the LPF Archives:

For People of Faith: AN URGENT CALL (2003)
On August 6th we remember the anniversary of the atomic the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
We invite you to pray for peace.
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day of Prayer for PeaceBulletin Insert (2005)

Animation of Nuclear History