View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Archbishop O'Brien: No to nuclear deterrence

An archbishop who was a chaplain in Vietnam and was later the archbishop of the the U.S military ordinate said at a conference in Omaha - organized by the US Strategic Command in Nebraska - that nuclear deterrence is not a morally acceptable option for national defense.

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore said he was not denigrating military service, but he contended that all reasonable people should agree that the abolition of nuclear weapons is a desirable goal.

“In 2009, it’s even clearer that nuclear deterrence cannot be a long-term solution for peace,” he said.

He said it was morally wrong for the United States and other nations to continue a policy in which one country holds on to nuclear weapons because other countries hold on to theirs.

Archbishop O'Brien called for American political leaders to take the lead in an effort to reduce and eventually destroy all nuclear weapons world-wide.

“The path to zero will be long and treacherous,” he said Bellevue’s Offutt Air Force Base. But “abolishing nuclear weapons is not partisan ... it’s an issue of fundamental moral values that should unite people.”

He was speaking at a conference organized by General Kevin Chiton, who heads the US Strategic Command in Nebraska. The general said that he had sought the archbishop's contribution because he "didn't want to invite a monotone choir."

Given his background, Archbishop O'Brien obviously has credibility. I admire the fact that he spoke up. I also applaud General Chiton for having him speak.

I agree with him. We do need to eliminate nuclear weapons - though doing so will not be easy given world conditions. I believe the use of nuclear weapons in any way that strikes large numbers of non-combatants - such as in the targeting of cities or of targets in cities - is immoral.

You can find more coverage here (secular) and here (CNS).


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