Peace is Possible

 fcnl.org      Peace Is Possible      14 July 2019

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

–Jesus of Nazareth, John 10:10

No Funding for New Nukes

adapted from Sergio Mata-Cisneros, FCNL Program Assistant

August 6 and 9 will be the 74th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings near the end of World War II.  In the aftermath of those events, Quakers became active in the nuclear disarmament movement, as well as other movements to ban or control weapons of war. From that time on, Friends have worked to advance disarmament internationally and in their own countries.

 At their annual meeting ten years after the 1945 nuclear attacks, British Friends deliberated over their spiritual concern regarding weapons of mass destruction and issued this statement:  We believe that no one has the right to use [nuclear] weapons in his defense or to ask another person to use them on his behalf. To rely on the possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent is faithless; to use them is a sin.  (Quaker Faith and Practice)

We are grateful for Friends’ many years of witness and advocacy to rid the world of these weapons.  Despite those passionate efforts, we now live in a world where thousands of nuclear warheads exist which have the capacity to destroy the entire planet multiple times and end life on earth as we know it.

 The current administration in Washington has been (and still is) pressuring Congress to fund the creation of new “low-yield” nuclear warheads for missiles.  If deployed, those weapons will escalate the arms race and greatly increase the risk of miscalculation and wider nuclear use.

Those 1955 British Friends are still correct — the use of any nuclear weapons is immoral and invites catastrophe.  On both principle and practicality, Congress needs to reject funding for the building of new weapons of mass destruction.

 FCNL urges Friends to write to your members of Congress and urge them to reject funding for new low-yield nukes, and other nuclear weapons as well.  Ask members of Congress to do the following:

§ Reject any funding for the administration’s plan for development and production of  “low-yield” nuclear warheads.

§ Say no to submarine-launched missiles.  Do not let the Navy field a new low-yield W76-2 Trident submarine-launched missile warhead.

§ Do not fund a nuclear sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM): Putting nuclear warheads back on SLCMs entails massive costs and could spark an arms race.

§ Do not build a ground-launched cruise-missile (GLCM): A new GLCM would violate an arms control treaty from the end of the Cold War and raise political tension in Europe.

 Please write, phone, or visit in person the offices of your members of Congress while they are in-state during the August recess.  Urge them as a matter of faith to apply tax dollars to concerns that give abundant life, not ones that “steal and kill and destroy.”

 Sample Letter

 Sen. Todd Young    400 Russell Senate Off. Bldg.    Washington, DC  20510

          202-224-5623                   www.young.senate.gov

Sen. Mike Braun    B85 Russell Senate Off. Bldg.     Washington, DC  20510

          202-224-4814               www.braun.senate.gov

Rep. Greg Pence          222 Cannon HOB        Washington, DC  20515

          202-225-3021                www.pence.house.gov

Sen. ______________, Rep. Pence:

 

In early August, we will observe the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  For me, the passage of time does not diminish even slightly the horror of what happened to those human beings on August 6 and 9 in 1945.  The current administration’s pressure on Congress to fund the production and deployment of new “low-yield” warheads and missiles to deliver them only increases the horror.

I am a follower of Christ whose faith is grounded on the principles of peace and nonviolence which Jesus taught and lived.  As a Quaker, I seek a world free of war and the threat of war.  It is my conviction that any use of nuclear weapons is immoral and invites catastrophe.  For that reason, I strongly oppose any plan by Congress to use my tax dollars to fund and promote new forms of nuclear weaponry.

As a matter of both spiritual principle and financial prudence, I urge you to reject funding in the FY2020 budget for any new “low-yield” warheads and delivery systems for them, including new sea-launched and ground-launched cruise missiles.  These weapons would undoubtedly result in a wasteful, expensive multinational arms race and could send our country down a “slippery slope to nuclear war.” 

 Please prioritize peace in the world.  Invest in arms reductions, not production.  Robustly fund diplomacy.  Please reject funding for new weapons of mass destruction, or explain to me why you will not do so.

 

                                                     Sincerely,