fireworks on the 4th

(no, not that kind.)

yesterday, on the fourth of july (surely no coincidence) north korea launched missiles into the sea of japan: there is already widespread concern over iran's nuclear program: as much as we fear nuclear weapons being in the hands of people like kim jong il and mahmoud ahmadinejadi, we must say that nuclear weapons in anyone's hands is a threat to all human life and the creation. the u.s., britain, israel, and every other country with nuclear capability must also be called into account for having this technology. i could write about this myself, but certainly would do no better than a resolution of the united methodist church, that captures all of our fears over the tensions across asia today:

Resolution 338 #318-The United Methodist Church and Peace

The arms race goes on. However, the danger of a holocaust remains as long as nations maintain nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, millions starve, and development stagnates. Again and again, regional tensions grow, conflicts erupt, and outside forces intervene to advance or protect their interests without regard to international law or human rights.

True priorities in national budgeting are distorted by present expenditures on weapons. Because of fear of unemployment, desire for profits, and contributions to the national balance of payments, the arms industry engenders great political power. Arms-producing nations seek to create markets, then vie with one another to become champion among the arms merchants of the world. Food, health, social services, jobs, and education are vital to the welfare of nations. Yet their availability is constantly threatened by the overriding priority given by governments to what is called "defense."

We support initiatives in every part of the world that move toward the goal of disarmament. This demands a radical reordering of priorities coupled with an effective system of international peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peace building.

The church must constantly keep that goal before peoples and governments. In particular, we support the abolition of nuclear weapons. We affirm the prophetic position of our bishops who said in their statement In Defense of Creation: "We say a clear and unconditional NO to nuclear war and to any use of nuclear weapons.

We conclude that nuclear deterrence is a position that cannot receive the churchs blessing." Accordingly, we reject the possession of nuclear weapons as a permanent basis for securing and maintaining peace. Possession can no longer be tolerated, even as a temporary expedient. We call upon all nations that possess nuclear weapons to renounce these vile instruments of mass destruction and to move expeditiously to dismantle all nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles. As a first step, we support all movement to ban the "first strike" policy from all North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) doctrine.

We support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We call upon all nations to become signatories of these important treaties and to abide by their provisions.

At the same time, nations must provide for more secure control of weapons-grade nuclear materials. It is clear deterrence comes from international controls on materials from which bombs are made. We support the concept of nuclear-free zones where governments or peoples in a specific region band together to bar nuclear weapons from the area either by treaty or declaration. The United Methodist Church affirms its commitment to a nuclear-free Pacific. As Christian people committed to stewardship, justice, and peacemaking, we oppose and condemn the use of the Pacific for tests, storage, and transportation of nuclear weapons and weapons-delivery systems and the disposal of radioactive wastes. We further affirm the right of all indigenous people to control their health and well-being.

for more info on this issue, go to click on report card to see exactly where the nations of the world stand in the nuclear arms race. friends, let us pray to the Prince of Peace to end all war and war making technology, and for the hearts of leaders of the world. yes, the crazy ones too.

increase the peace!


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