By: Rebekah Choate, Global Advocacy and Education Associate, Global Ministries, UCC National
“Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.” – John F. Kennedy, Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 25, 1961
It is difficult to imagine a world without weapons and where nations no longer make war, particularly these days. Yet, that is exactly what God calls us to work towards.
We have lived under the threat of nuclear war since 1945 and the US maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons, hundreds of which are ready to be launched within minutes. Our government uses these weapons to threaten other countries and bully them into submission, rather than working to improve diplomacy and build real trust.
We know the short- and long-term effects of using nuclear weapons after the US dropped two nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. We also know the health and environmental impact of nuclear weapons production, testing, and waste causes disproportionate harm to women, children, and people of color. As such, we must completely reject the legitimacy of nuclear weapons because the only guarantee these weapons will not be used again is through their complete elimination.
We are called to walk in the light of God by turning our weapons of destruction into tools of harvest and production. What might we build together if we stopped killing other beloved children of God?
Blazing Spirit, as weapons, war, and violence deepen the shadows on these long-night days,
shine your persistent light in and among us.
Disarmed by prophetic visions of swords turned into plowshares,
empower us to turn poisonous clouds and destructive fire into pillars of love and justice,
so that through our work of abolition, they may lead us, like your people of old,
out of slavery and into freedom. Amen.
Artwork: “Disarm” by Yohana Junker (discover more at: https://www.yohanajunker.com/)
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