Achieving Peace Through Disarmament

Kelly Litt
Kelly Litt

Disarmament Week, which begins on the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (October 24th) is observed this week. One of the oldest goals of the UN is disarmament, yet countries worldwide continue to hoard weapons rather than disarm.

Nuclear weapons are a paradoxical contradiction. As it stands now, these weapons capable of tragic destruction are illegal to use, yet many countries believe the only way to prevent an attack against themselves is to build up their nuclear stockpile.

Through nuclear weapons, we are perpetuating an immoral, expensive, and false sense of security worldwide. According to Win Without War, every hour taxpayers are paying $2,191,256 for nuclear weapons, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies notes that the U.S. defense budget in 2016 was $597.5 billion, almost as much as the next 15 countries combined.

Pope Francis has continually called for us to care for the poor, show concern for the planet, and work toward peace. Nuclear weapons undermine that collective call by disproportionately harming poor communities, by releasing large amounts of radioactive material in our land, water, and environment, and by preventing peace from being fully realized with the false idea that safety is found through armaments.

Living in a global community is not solely about individualism and personal conversion but also about working toward the conversion of oppressive structures in society. Citizens must take responsibility for the policies of their homeland, holding them responsible to ensure they follow international laws and treaties. A sustainable future can be attained by shifting funds from national security to human security and working to provide for the poor, the planet, and for peace. The use of weapons should no longer be the currency of foreign policy around the globe. Isaiah 2:4 says, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” Let us follow Pope Francis’ call to work for a world free of nuclear weapons and encourage all to live by the Golden Rule by beating any swords in our lives into plowshares to work for change and peace in our world.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

11 responses to “Achieving Peace Through Disarmament

  1. I am not Catholic myself, but I am very encouraged by the comments on this site. Jesus said to love our enemies. This seems to be a command against militarism. How can you love people, and contemplate killing and nuclear weapons?

  2. Thanks, Kelly. This is a very good blog. The United States in particular continues to build our nuclear stockpile–particularly in Oak Ridge, TN. Can we look for a way to speak up (and speak out) as a community?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Sr. Rose Marie! I agree that this is a big issue that our community can speak out about. I will continue to look for ways for the community to get involved in the issue of disarmament, especially concerning Oak Ridge, TN.

  3. Kelly, many thanks for this information, and other material that you have sent us since you have assumed this position….. You’re off to a flying start, and I look forward to lots of blogs from you.
    Peace, Catherine

  4. It is a sad commentary on our priorities when our resources are put into building up nuclear weapons and there are so many human needs everywhere in the world.

  5. Thank you for the information about Disarmament Week.
    This observance is new to me. We certainly do need to
    work for a world free of nuclear weapons.

  6. Thank you for your excellent article. Disarmament Week
    is new to me. We certainly do need to work for a world
    free of nuclear weapons. Thank you for you information.

  7. Thank you, Kelly! I cannot think that I have ever before heard of Disarmament Week – and that it is observed on the week of the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. I very much appreciate you making me, and perhaps many others, aware of the awesome responsibility we all have to work for change and peace in our world.

  8. Thanks, Kelly for a timely article, especially in light of the current political rhetoric from our Republican candidate for Presidency.

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