The nuclear nations have decided to “modernize” their weapons. With this almost fashionable announcement, the end of the world is all but guaranteed.
The capability to destroy all life on our planet has been around for a while. What makes this moment unique is that we have now charted a course that points to an endlessly higher risk. Instead of using this moment to reduce our nuclear threat, we have chosen to build stronger, faster, more deadly weapons – weapons that can pulverize the world into thinner ashes. All of this is being done with the support of politicians, industrialists and religionists. Yes, religions have made peace with the nukes and with the hands that hold them.
On May 17, 2019, at Westminster Abby, a worship service was held which was a “celebration of the success of the Navy’s ultimate mission.” England had enjoyed 50 years of being free of nuclear attack, and so, four sailors of the nuclear-armed Trident submarines were honored for protecting the country. God and Nukes and Nation!
This theme is picked up by author Dima Adamsky in his new book, Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy: Religion, Politics and Strategy. Adamsky writes about the “longstanding nexus between the Russian Orthodox Church and the country’s nuclear-military-industrial complex.” He goes on to say, “Russian nuclear orthodoxy constitutes the collective belief that to preserve its Orthodox character, Russia must be a nuclear power, to guarantee its nuclear status, Russia must be genuinely Orthodox.”
I remember being in Pakistan and hearing ordinary people talking about their first nuclear bomb. They would say, “India has a Hindu bomb, and now Pakistan has its Muslim bomb.” Nuclear pride has a way of wrapping its arms around nations and big business and religions.
What about the preachers in American pulpits? We are the only country ever to use such a bomb in combat. We possess at least 40% on the world’s nuclear weapons. We are the 24-hour targets of Russian nuclear bombs. We have dodged man-made, catastrophic nuclear disaster on several occasions.
Yet preachers don’t touch the subject. Prayers for guidance in nuclear matters are never uttered in our houses of worship.
Although official religious leaders issue anti-nuclear weapons statements, the folks in the pews don’t object to our nation having nuclear weapons. And there is no anti-nuclear religious lobby that has real influence among decision-makers.
Religions go along with the optimism of “Deterrence.” We trust that if we have sufficient nuclear weapons available, then it will deter other nations from using nuclear weapons on us. But at best, deterrence is only a short-term tactic. It provides sufficient time for all nuclear parties to get together and produce a path toward the elimination of the nuclear threat altogether. Deterrence only works up to the moment that it doesn’t work, and then comes the end of the world. Yes, that is what this is all about, i.e. the end of the world. Deterrence only works until it becomes our enduring strategy, until we decide to “modernize” our weapons.
Children play a little game called “Jenga.” Each child has a turn at using wooden blocks to build a tower. At the base, it is easy to add your block. But once you make the decision to keep going to the highest possible height, it is only a matter of time before it all collapses. The nuclear nations are playing Jenga with loaded blocks on behalf of all life on this planet. When we “modernize” in 2020, then we will have to “modernize” in 2040 and 2060 and on ‘till the end.
The choice is: the bomb or the family? The bomb or springtime? The bomb or music? The bomb or all of the soul-inspiring aspects of being alive on this Earth? Radiation or Creation? Your choice!
Life on this planet depends on you and me.
The time has come to “modernize” your opposition to the virulent evil of nuclear weapons. Break the hold of the political, military/industrial, religious knot and set a realistic, moral and vital path toward nuclear reduction and elimination.