IN THEORY:Ongoing nuclear debate


An ecumenical group of Catholics, Evangelicals, Episcopal bishops and Muslim leaders has signed a statement that affirms the value of diplomacy in talks over stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. Yet, in our own country, such weapons stand as a military defense. Is there a moral defense for nuclear weapons?

WWJB? Isn’t that what it’s all about? Who would Jesus bomb? And if we can answer that question, then the logical next step is to discuss weaponry, nuclear or conventional?

Somehow, we want to believe that nuclear weapons are more destructive than other weapons, but they are not. When you factor in the emotional and psychological scarring that goes with the destruction and havoc brought by weapons, you understand that all weapons have the same destructive power.

Fallout from nuclear weapons may linger, but the lasting effects of bombs and torture on the human psyche is transferable through generations as hatred is kindled and explodes in a variety of forms of violence and terror.

A few years ago, we went on a hunt for “WMD” in Iraq, while it escaped us that the biggest weapon of mass destruction was the totalitarian regime, which implemented torture and killings. If you think about it, the actions of that regime, in fact, had both short- and long-term physical and psychological effects on the victims.

The bigger discussion here is that of “just war.” Is there such a thing?

St. Augustine introduced the conversation to the Western church. We in Eastern Christianity have not developed this discussion to the extent Augustine did, which might explain the proliferation of massacres and even genocide in our pockets of the world. Is there a time when the violence, war and nuclear weapons are justified?

The truth is, when we look at this topic from a religious perspective, and in particular a Christian one, there is only one answer.

It’s based on the reality that for God, all wars are civil wars. Ultimately, we need to go one step further and say there is no defense for weapons of any sort. Unfortunately, we’re not all on the same playing field. This discussion is absurd for too many people. For that reason, the actions of this interfaith group of leaders are truly commendable. These are the first steps toward peace. Our prayers should be with them and for our world.


Armenian Church

In His Shoes Ministries

Over the past half century, weapons of mass destruction have presented mankind with a challenge never before witnessed in our history. One nation can now obliterate another within minutes, courtesy of a technology that sets a new threshold for wide-scale devastation.

During the Cold War, the United States was able to point nuclear missiles toward Soviet Russia, the heart of the evil empire, and the U.S.S.R. targeted us in return. Because there was an explicit understanding on both sides that the use of such weapons would result in our mutual destruction, both sides were provided with a deterrent — and with some degree of security.

It is obviously the moral obligation of a nation to protect itself from its adversaries.

Therefore, according to the religious obligation of self-preservation, it was (and is) acceptable to employ nuclear weapons as a defensive tactic. Unfortunately, the “good old days” of the Cold War are over — now we are challenged by the far more reckless and sinister enemy of Islamic extremism, to which the notion of mutual assured destruction means nothing.

This is an opponent who not only fails to value the spiritual significance of life, but actually glorifies death. The United States is faced with a dreadful scenario of seeing a terrorist group or nation, such as Hezbollah or Iran, come into possession of a nuclear weapon, with nothing to deter them from launching a strike.

America’s solemn obligation today is not to stockpile weapons of mass destruction, but to prevent terrorist entities from ever getting their hands on such weapons.

To support this effort, we must be ready to keep every option viable.

Of course, we should start with diplomatic talks and try to reach an amicable solution through dialogue.

But if that dialogue does not produce results, as has been the case up until now, then we must be ready to protect ourselves — even if that means going to war.

As awful as that prospect might be, allowing such an enemy to obtain nuclear weapons could be far worse.


Chabad Jewish Center

I hate war, but I fear that much of the peace movement is but a limp-wristed attempt at claiming peaceful accord where none exists. Forgive me for repeating one particular redneck adage that proclaims, “Peace Through Superior Firepower,” but even Jesus instructed, “if you don’t have a sword … buy one” (Luke 22:36).

As a boy, I moved often because of my father’s occupation. I was forever “the new kid;” a target of every adolescent ne’er-do-well that you can imagine. Believe me, I tried words, and words were fed back to me with bloody lips. Here we’re talking about entire bully nations that have no sense of Western civilization; that would just as well blow us up as speak to us, and liberal religious groups are asking that we just talk nicely to them so that they will change their disposition and join us in our efforts to bring earthly harmony?

Please, nukes are out of the gate. Should we wish to achieve world peace, we’ll do so by being a taloned eagle, not an idealistic clay pigeon. If we present ourselves as declawed, I can guarantee that we’ll soon be extinct.

We don’t live in a world where man is essentially good, despite the opinion of religious cults, but in a world of murder and terrorism, ideological falsehood over Biblical truth, and every other result of the fact that mankind is essentially prone to evil. It’s this fact that brought Jesus to us.

He came that we might have peace with God, not necessarily with one another (Matthew 10:34).

If everyone would embrace Christ, only then would we have reason to hope for peace by virtue of our common brotherhood.

In the meantime, forbid totalitarian regimes such weapons, arm democracies to the teeth and pray the silos are never opened.


Senior Pastor

Barring discussions from national security advisors, ambassadors and secretaries of foreign affairs, there is only one simple, clear answer. There is no moral defense for nuclear weapons. We as a people and as a country can promote peaceful resolutions not based on the use of nuclear weapons.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in “Dianetics,” “Man is now faced, by these pyramiding hatreds, with weapons so powerful that Man himself may vanish from the Earth.

There is no problem in the control of these weapons. They explode when and where Man tells them to explode.

The problem is in the control of man … Insanity does not exist without a confusion of definitions and purpose.

The solution to the international problem does not lie in the regulation or curtailment of weapons nor yet in the restraints of men.

It lies in the definition of political theory and policy in such terms that there can be no mistaking the clear processes; it lies in the establishment of rational goals toward which societies can collectively and individually work; and it lies in an inter-social competition of gains so great that none become dispensable to the other.”

Faith-based diplomacy brings calm and rational solutions. Clergy leaders can do more than offer opinions on foreign policies or defense. Setting the stage for international peace may well be the religious challenge of the 21st century.


Volunteer Minister

Glendale Church of Scientology