Christians should not be confused about nuclear weapons

Roughly every ten years a new nation joins the nuclear club and that trend is continuing in this decade with North Korea. I’ve made my prediction that the world will accept this reality and that this will eventually lead to more nations (specifically Japan and South Korea and I wouldn’t rule out Iran depending on what the current US administration says and does) beginning their journey to join the club.

However, there is an argument (and it’s scarily quite logical) that Kim Jong Un wouldn’t be irrational to use a nuclear bomb first. I personally don’t think that will happen as mentioned but if you can make an argument for it then there are military planners preparing against it. I don’t think we’re at the stage where we all need to be building bomb shelters but 2017 has become the year where we are one again rightly concerned about nuclear weapons (well a few people are).

And if the idea of at least two men of questionable rationality armed with nuclear weapons and goading each other isn’t scary enough, then consider this: what if they’re hacked? If you think it’s hacker-proof you’re being naive. All this to say, that while it might not be everyone’s most pressing issue (and I get that) is is an issue and it should be one that (I think) Christians should be able to speak about with a reasonable clear voice. Except that’s me being naive right there.

Not so long ago The Economist took a brief look at how Christianity has dealt with nuclear weapons and concluded with the shameful observation that;

The one thing organised Christianity doesn’t seem to offer is a clear, unanimous answer to the dilemmas of a nuclear age.

Well, we should have a clear unanimous voice and it would be for disarmament.

I’ve previously said,

It has always seemed to me to be faulty logic to secure peace by investing in weapons. Spending huge sums of money on a weapon system no one wants to use, against enemies we don’t have, in a situation we can’t foresee for ends we can’t justify is both disconcerting and distressing.

Now I’m actually wrong about some of that because sadly we can now foresee a situation where nuclear weapons could be used (for the first time in perhaps 30 years) but I think the force of my point still stands.

The United Nations adopted a historic international treaty banning nuclear weapons in July 2017 and 120 countries voted in favour. The new treaty will make it illegal under international law to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. It also makes it illegal to assist or encourage anyone to engage in these activities. All this is good even if it’s also simultaneously completely useless.

Disarmament is never going to happen. I cannot foresee a situation where those who have nuclear weapons will give them up. The USA never will, so Russia won’t. India won’t so Pakistan won’t. China’s weapons aren’t going anywhere. And while it continues to be surrounded by hostile states that wouldn’t hesitate to destroy them if they thought they could get the chance; Israel’s weapons aren’t going anywhere either. I don’t even think middling states like the UK & France will ever get rid of theirs. However just because I believe that they never will doesn’t mean I should be unambiguous or compromising about whether they should. They should disarm, they must disarm even if they won’t disarm.

It shouldn’t be hard to say that we believe Jesus would be against the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of people, the destruction of the environment and the risk that millions more might die. So let’s say it.

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