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Westminster Abbey urged to cancel nuclear weapons ‘thanksgiving’ service 

Christian campaigners are calling on Westminster Abbey to think again about hosting a service which is marking 50 years since the introduction of the UK’s nuclear deterrent at sea.

The famous London church will be used on May 3 by the Royal Navy.

The service is expected to include prayers for peace around the word.

Russell Whiting from the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has questioned why the Abbey would want to host an event like this.

Speaking to Premier, he said: “During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers they will be called the children of God’.

“I don’t believe that we can call ourselves peacemakers whilst we possess a weapon that can destroy creation, and it is a creation after all, that we have been given to be stewards of.”

While some have labelled it a “celebration” or a “thanksgiving service”, Westminster Abbey has distanced itself from those particular words.

In a statement to Premier, a spokesman said: “The service marking the 50 years of the continuous at sea deterrent is not a service of thanksgiving or a celebration of nuclear armaments.

“The service will recognise the commitment of the Royal Navy to effective peace-keeping through the deterrent over the past fifty years and will pray for peace throughout the world.”

Russell Whiting told Premier he remains unconvinced.

“The Royal Navy’s press release announcing this service described it as a celebration,” he said. “[The Abbey] says it’s not going to be a thanksgiving but the invitations that have gone out describe this as a national service of thanksgiving.

“It may well be that Westminster Abbey has one thing in mind, but it’s clear that the Ministry of Defence has something quite different.”

The Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament says it will protest at the event if it goes ahead.

Whiting said he doesn’t object to a service going ahead as long as it isn’t in a place of Christian worship.

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April 4, 2019 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

Remembering the success of an indigenous fight against nuclear waste dumping

Fight against nuclear waste dump remembered at Ward Valley Spiritual Gathering http://www.mohavedailynews.com/needles_desert_star/fight-against-nuclear-waste-dump-remembered-at-ward-valley-spiritual/article_90eb72d6-389e-11e9-b4f7-9f6fab400ac1.html. By GENTRY MEDRANO Director, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe Public Relations Department, 25 Feb 19, 

    NEEDLES — The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe hosted the 21st annual Ward Valley Spiritual Gathering on Feb. 16.

FMIT, along with supporters from the other five tribes along the Colorado River and environmental activists and allies, gathered to commemorate a 113-day occupation that led to defeating a proposal for a nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley.

In addition to honoring the individuals and organizations for the hard work, courage and dedication they brought to the successful occupation, the event was also a remembrance filled with songs from the Fort Mojave Tribal Band, traditional Bird Singing and Dancing, a Spirit Run, tributes, recognition and a history of Ward Valley.

In 1998 the occupation of the proposed dump site by the five river tribes: the Fort Mojave, Chemehuevi, Quechan, Cocopah and Colorado River Indian Tribes; along with environmental activists, took place at the Ward Valley site to fight and stop the proposed dump.

The resistance efforts prevented law enforcement from the Bureau of Land Management from entering the site, effectively stopping any test drilling or development.

Protesting that the waste dump would have desecrated sacred land, the tribes and activists prevailed when the U.S. Department of the Interior rescinded an eviction notice and canceled the test drilling.

The Interior Department terminated all actions regarding the Ward Valley dump proposal on Nov. 2, 1999, ending the fight with victory for the tribes and activists.

Ward Valley is about 25 miles west of Needles along Interstate 40 at Water Road

February 25, 2019 Posted by | indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Church of England backs further action on climate change

CofE backs further action on climate change

A motion brought by the dioceses of London and Truro was approved, committing the Church to accelerating its existing environmental programme and calling on every diocese to put in place an environmental programme overseen by a designated member of the bishop’s staff team…… https://www.christiantoday.com/article/cofe-backs-further-action-on-climate-change/131845.htm

February 25, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

Pope Francis speaks out on the immorality of having nuclear weapons

Pope Francis Rejects Existence of Nuclear weapons,  https://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=37433&SEO=pope-francis-rejects-existence-of-nuclear-weapons  Vatican City, Jan 7 (Prensa Latina) Pope Francis said on Monday that the existence of nuclear weapons is functional to a logic of fear that has to do not only with parties in conflict, but with the entire human race.

In his speech before the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, on the occasion of the congratulations for the new year, the Supreme Pontiff said that international relations cannot be dominated by military forces, reciprocal intimidation or the ostentation of military arsenals.In this regard, he pointed out that it is sad to see how the arms market not only does not stop, but there is an increasingly widespread tendency for individuals and states to arm themselves.

Francis pointed out that ‘it is especially worrying that nuclear disarmament, so desired and pursued in part in the past decades, is now giving way to new, increasingly sophisticated and destructive weapons.

Weapons of mass destruction, particularly atomic weapons,’ he said, ‘generate nothing but a misleading sense of security and cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence among members of the human family, which must nevertheless be inspired by an ethic of solidarity.The Pope referred, on the other hand, to the floods, floods, fires, earthquakes and droughts suffered in 2018 by regions of the Latin American continent and South-East Asia, for which he considered urgent an agreement of the international community on environmental issues and climate change.

He also stressed that in the light of the consensus reached at the recent International Climate Conference (COP-24) in Katowice, he expected a more decisive commitment from states to strengthen collaboration to urgently address the worrying phenomenon of global warming.

January 12, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Arrests at the Pentagon, of 4 peaceful Catholic protesters against nuclear weapons

January 1, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

White House fury as Russian nuclear planes visit Venezuela 

December 13, 2018 Posted by | Religion and ethics, Russia, SOUTH AMERICA, USA | Leave a comment

NCR’s Fox crosses the line, goes to trial to protest nuclear weapons

 https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/ncrs-fox-crosses-line-goes-trial-protest-nuclear-weapons, Dec 3, 2018 by Thomas C. Fox

December 4, 2018 Posted by | Legal, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

America’s depraved politics ignores two imminent existential threats: environmental catastrophe and nuclear war

Noam Chomsky: Moral Depravity Defines US Politics  BY C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout, NOVEMBER 21, 2018 

……..Noam Chomsky: The most striking features are brutally clear.

Humanity faces two imminent existential threats: environmental catastrophe and nuclear war. These were virtually ignored in the campaign rhetoric and general coverage. There was plenty of criticism of the Trump administration, but scarcely a word about by far the most ominous positions the administration has taken: increasing the already dire threat of nuclear war, and racing to destroy the physical environment that organized human society needs in order to survive.

These are the most critical and urgent questions that have arisen in all of human history. The fact that they scarcely arose in the campaign is truly stunning — and carries some important, if unpleasant, lessons about our moral and intellectual culture.

To be sure, not everyone was ignoring these matters. They were front and center for those who are constantly vigilant in their bitter class war to preserve their immense power and privilege. Several states had important ballot initiatives addressing the impending environmental catastrophe. The fossil fuel industry spent huge, sometimes record-breaking, sums to defeat the initiatives — including a carbon tax in the mostly Democratic state of Washington — and mostly succeeded.

We should recognize that these are extraordinary crimes against humanity. They proceed with little notice.

The Democrats helped defeat these critically important initiatives by ignoring them. They scarcely mentioned them “in digital or TV ads, in their campaign literature or on social media,” a New York Times surveyfound. Nor, of course, were they mentioned by the Republicans, whose leadership is dedicated to driving humanity off the cliff as soon as possible — in full knowledge of what they are doing, as easily demonstrated……….

The concentration of wealth and enhancement of corporate power translate automatically to decline of democracy. Research in academic political science has revealed that a large majority of voters are literally disenfranchised, in that their own representatives pay no attention to their wishes but listen to the voices of the donor class. It is furthermore well established that elections are pretty much bought: electability, hence policy, is predictable with remarkable precision from the single variable of campaign spending, both for the executive and Congress. Thomas Ferguson’s work is particularly revealing, going far back and including the 2016 election. And that is a bare beginning. Legislation is commonly shaped, even written, by corporate lobbyists, while representatives who sign it have their eyes on funding for the next election………..

How do we explain the fact that while US politics seems nastier, more polarized and more divided than any other time in recent history, both parties stay away from addressing the most critical issues facing the country and the world at large?

In 1895, the highly successful campaign manager Mark Hanna famously said: “There are two things that are important in politics. The first ismoney, and I can’t remember what the second one is.”

Those who control the wealth of the country have their own priorities, primarily self-enrichment and enhancement of decision-making power. And these are the priorities that prevail in a neoliberal democracy with the annoying public dismissed to the back rooms where they belong.

The CEOs of major banks surely understand the extraordinary threat of environmental catastrophe but are increasing investment in fossil fuels because that’s where the money is. Like the energy corporations, they are hardly eager to support candidates warning of the serious crimes they are committing. Lockheed-Martin and its cohorts are quite happy to see vast increases in the military budget and are surely delighted with such declarations as the Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy, just released by the US Institute of Peace (lacking a sense of irony, the bureaucracy is quite happy to caricature Orwell).

This somber document warns that our dangerously depleted military, which almost overwhelms the rest of the world combined, might not be able to prevail in a two-front war against Russia and China. Of course, neither military industry nor the distinguished authors of the report believe that such a war could even be fought without terminal destruction, but it’s a great way to siphon taxpayer dollars away from absurdities like health and education and into the deserving pockets of the captains of industry and finance……….

the actual constituency of the Republican Party remains great wealth and corporate power, even more dramatically so under Trump. It is quite an achievement to serve this actual constituency with dedication while maintaining a hold on the voting base.

As their voting base shrinks, Republican leaders understand that the GOP is becoming a minority party, which is why they are so dedicated to finding modes of voter suppression and packing the courts with reactionaries who will support their efforts……….. https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-moral-depravity-defines-us-politics/

November 22, 2018 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | 2 Comments

Catholic Church urges countries to sign and ratify the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban

October 25, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime

 Portside,   LOBE LOG Regardless of what ultimately happened to Khashoggi, continuing U.S. arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia under current circumstances is immoral. Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime. If indeed the Saudi government is indeed behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there should be consequences—political, military, economic, and reputational.

Unfortunately, President Trump begs to differ. His reaction to questions about whether the United States would cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia if Riyadh is proven to be behind the killing of Khashoggi has been to say that he does not want to jeopardize the alleged $110 billion in arms deals his administration has struck with the Saudi regime, and the U.S. jobs that come with them.

In his recent interview with CBS 60 Minutes, Trump specifically cites the needs of U.S. weapons manufacturers as reasons to keep U.S. arms flowing to the Saudi regime, even if it ends up being responsible for the murder of Khashoggi:

They are ordering military equipment. Everybody in the world wanted that order. Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it…I tell you what I don’t wanna do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, all these [companies]…I don’t wanna hurt jobs. I don’t wanna lose an order like that.

Trump tells CBS’s Leslie Stahl that “there are other ways of punishing” Saudi Arabia without cutting of U.S. arms sales, but he fails to specify what those might be.

Regardless of what ultimately happened to Khashoggi, continuing U.S. arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia under current circumstances is immoral. Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only may be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in its three-and-one-half-year military intervention in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs and combat aircraft and U.S. refueling and targeting assistance.

The Khashoggi case merely underscores the approach of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the power behind the throne in Riyadh who is the most ruthless and reckless leader in Saudi history……https://portside.org/2018-10-16/jobs-are-no-excuse-arming-murderous-regime,

October 18, 2018 Posted by | Religion and ethics, Saudi Arabia, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov saved the world

September 28, 2018 Posted by | depleted uranium, history, PERSONAL STORIES, politics international, Reference, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Vatican will continue condemning nuclear weapons

Arch. Gallagher: Holy See will continue opposing nuclear weapons, Vatican News 

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, addresses a United Nations General Assembly meeting on the elimination of nuclear weapons. By Robin Gomes, 27 Sept 18

The Holy See said on Wednesday it will continue to argue against both the possession and the use of nuclear weapons, saying the total elimination of nuclear weapons is not only a security issue, but a moral, humanitarian and environmental imperative.

The Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher made the statement at a high-level meeting at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly to mark the September 26 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Threat of annihilation

“The world is not safer with nuclear weapons; it is more dangerous,” Archbishop Gallagher said.  “A policy that relies on the possession of nuclear weapons,” he said, “is contradictory to the spirit and purpose of the United Nations because nuclear weapons cannot create for us a stable and secure world, and because peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of total annihilation.”

Environmental, humanitarian consequences

Speaking about the environmental disasters and humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, the Holy See official whose portfolio is equivalent to that of foreign minister, encouraged all countries to make the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) a reality by ensuring its entry into force….https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2018-09/holy-see-un-gallagher-nuclear-weapons.html

September 28, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Protecting counterprotesters; nuclear repentance -National Catholic Reporter

Justice Action Bulletin: Protecting counterprotesters; nuclear repentance, National Catholic  Reporter,Aug 14, 2018by Maria Benevento

August 15, 2018 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Arrests of USA activists protesting against nuclear weapons

Arrests at nuclear sites mark 73rd anniversary of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki http://www.nukeresister.org/2018/08/07/arrests-at-nuclear-sites-mark-73rd-anniversary-of-atomic-bombings-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/  from the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Activists honor Catholic archbishop, who was a prophetic voice for peace, on anniversary of atomic bombingby Leonard Eiger Silverdale, Washington: Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order.

Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main Gate beginning on the evening of August 5th and continuing into the morning of August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Approximately sixty activists were present at the morning vigil, and twelve participated in a nonviolent direct action in which participants blockaded the base at the peak of the morning shift change by carrying a banner onto the roadway of the main entrance gate.

The banner read, “Trident is the Auschwitz of Puget Sound – Raymond Hunthausen.”

The activists stopped traffic entering the base for ten minutes before being removed from the roadway by Washington State Patrol Officers, cited for being in the roadway illegally, and released on the scene.

The twelve activists cited are Phil Davis, Bremerton, WA; Susan Delaney, Bothell, WA; Lisa Johnson, Silverdale, WA; Mack Johnson, Silverdale, WA; Ann Kittredge, Quilcene, WA; James Knight, Altadena, CA; Brenda McMillan, Port Townsend, WA; Elizabeth Murray, Poulsbo, WA; George Rodkey, Tacoma, WA; Ryan Scott Rosenboom, Bothell, WA; Michael Siptroth, Belfair, WA; and Jade Takushi.

Raymond Hunthausen, retired archbishop of Seattle, died on July 22nd at age 96. Frank Fromherz, author of the the soon to be released book, “A Disarming Spirit: The Life of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen,” said of Hunthausen:

“It was in the early 1980s that Archbishop Hunthausen denounced the Trident nuclear submarine fleet harbored in his archdiocese, famously calling it ‘the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.’ His opposition inspired Catholics worldwide, but gained him powerful opponents in the U.S. government during the era of President Reagan’s military buildup. Catholic peace activist Jim Douglass, a native of British Columbia, introduced Archbishop Hunthausen to the practice of contemplative nonviolent direct action.”

Douglass once described his longtime friend as ‘a holy prophet of nonviolence in the nuclear age.’ In what would become a truly historic address on June 12, 1981 at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Hunthausen spoke these prophetic words: ‘Our security as people of faith lies not in demonic weapons, which threaten all life on earth. Our security is in a loving, caring God. We must dismantle our weapons of terror and place our reliance on God.’”

Eight of the US Navy’s fourteen Trident ballistic missile submarines are based at the Bangor Trident base, which is just 20 miles west of Seattle. It is home to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US. The W76 and W88 warheads at Bangor are equal respectively to 100 kilotons and 455 kilotons of TNT in destructive force (the bomb dropped on Hirosima was between 13 and 18 kilotons). The Trident bases at Bangor and Kings Bay, Georgia, when combined, represent just over half of all warheads deployed by the United States.

While the US has been calling for the complete denuclearization of North Korea, it continues to modernize and upgrade its nuclear weapons and delivery systems, among them the Trident system. It has declared, along with some other nuclear weapon states, that it will never sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), also known as the Ban Treaty.

Monday morning’s action was the culmination of a weekend commemorating the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and calling for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Activities included keynote presentations by former CIA officer and peace activist Ray McGovern, and Backbone Campaign executive director Bill Moyer. Activists at Ground Zero Center also welcomed participants of the Interfaith Peace Walk and held a waterborne protest, “Boats by Bangor,” on Hood Canal by the Bangor base waterfront where Trident submarines are prepared for their patrols.

The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was founded in 1977. The center is on 3.8 acres adjoining the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington. We offer the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA | 2 Comments

Catholic action against nuclear weapons

Justice Action Bulletin: Catholic worker among protestors breaching nuclear weapons bunker https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/justice-action-bulletin-catholic-worker-among-protestors-breaching-nuclear-weapons, Jul 24, 2018, by Maria Benevento  POULSBO, Washington — The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action is planning nearly a week of activities to commemorate the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and call attention to and oppose nuclear weapons today.

July 25, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment