SCN Statement on Nuclear Disarmament

Posted by Spalding Hurst

May 25, 1981

As Christian women dedicated to living out Gospel values, we oppose the proliferation of nuclear armament as destructive of these values. Believing that peace is a priority in our lives, we still strive to promote it on the personal level by caring, sharing and reconciling with one another, transforming our lives on individual and community levels by prayer, self education and consciousness raising.

Moreover, convinced that our vocation as peacemakers impels us to work unceasingly to promote non-violent ways of resolving conflicts, we call upon our leaders and on women and men in the global community to realize their personal responsibility to be peacemakers also, to protect the resources of the earth and to keep the world habitable and hospitable for future generations.

Nuclear weapons cannot be deployed without destroying millions of defenseless people and rendering huge areas of the world unfit for human habitation for untold generations. Even if nuclear weapons are stockpiled only as deterrent, they constitute a grave violation of human rights. Since military spending greatly contributes to the inflationary spiral by increasing the imbalance of the budget and by decreasing employment opportunities, it places a heavy burden on the needier segments of our society, and restricts our ability to redress the inequitable distribution of resources throughout the world. Funds allocated for the stockpiling of weapons deprive the poor and the oppressed of money that should be directed toward human needs: e.g. alleviation of hunger, better health services, adequate housing, education and purification of polluted water supplies. In addition, materials used in building these weapons present a threat to unborn generations through genetic mutation.

The immediacy of health hazards resulting from improper waste disposal and contamination of earth and water resources make it incumbent upon us as members of the global community to call for an immediate freeze on the production and deployment of nuclear arms. We urge our bishops and clergy and other religious groups to join with peacemaking groups all over the world to renew – not destroy – the face of the earth and to bring about the reign of God based on a peace and justice denied to no one.

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