From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: Medley Among Religious Leaders Addressing Nuclear Arms

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Wed, 12 Feb 2003 14:00:54 -0500

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 2/12/03)--American Baptist
Churches USA General Secretary the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley has joined 17
other leaders of Protestant, Orthodox and Muslim groups in endorsing a call
to seek "the abolition of nuclear reducing and then eliminating
nuclear arms under binding agreements."

The  "Urgent Call to End the Nuclear Weapons Danger" was developed by the
Nuclear Reduction/Disarmament Initiative of the Churches Center for Theology
and Public Policy, a Washington D.C.-based interfaith effort to address the
dangers of nuclear proliferation.  The initiative has been supported by
several dozen religious leaders and a number of retired high-ranking
military professionals. 

The statement endorsed by the religious leaders notes in part:

"As people of faith, we understand that God created the universe and
everything in it. Our world is an astonishingly beautiful, rich, complex,
tiny piece of that creation, teeming with life and beloved in
God's sight.

"Since the nuclear age began in 1945 this glorious world has been faced with
a fundamentally new kind of threat from nuclear weapons. Their vast power
could destroy not only the present world, but with long-term radiation
effects and the possibility of nuclear winter, nuclear weapons could destroy
the future. Even when they are unused, their production and deployment cause
significant environmental degradation, divert massive resources from human
need, and add destabilizing fear to tense political situations....

"As people of faith, we affirm life and all that nurtures it. We abhor
nuclear weapons and the destruction they portend. As people of faith, we
choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).

"A decade after the end of the Cold War, the peril of nuclear destruction is
mounting. The great powers have refused to give up nuclear arms, other
countries are producing them, and terrorists are trying to acquire them....

"The dangers posed by huge arsenals, threats of use, proliferation, and
terrorism are linked: The nuclear powers' refusal to disarm fuels
proliferation, and proliferation makes nuclear materials more accessible to
terrorists. The events of September 11 brought home to Americans what it
means to experience a catastrophic attack. Yet the horrifying losses that
day were only a fraction of what any nation would suffer if a single nuclear
weapon were used on a city.

"The drift towards catastrophe must be reversed. Safety from nuclear
destruction must be our goal. We can reach it only by reducing and then
eliminating nuclear arms under binding agreements.

"We therefore call on the United States and Russia to fulfill their
commitments under the Nonproliferation Treaty and move together with the
other nuclear powers, step by carefully inspected and verified step, to the
abolition of nuclear weapons...."


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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