To read Issue #11, click to download.
In August, St. John's SJAG joined forces with the Victoria peace community to organize "Bells for Peace", a remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan. In addition to ringing church bells throughout Victoria, we hosted a special liturgy on Sunday, August 9th, and co-sponsored a webinar and on-line film showing. In this our third electronic version of Let Justice Roll, we continue our focus on the contentious topic of "War, Peace, Disarmament and Non-Violence". In addition, two of our SJAG members — John McLaren and Sara Chu — have written incisive personal articles on two current social issues St. John's Court and Racism in Victoria.
Sunday, September 21st, has been declared "International Day of Peace" by the UN. This is an ideal time for us to recommit ourselves to work for permanent peace in the world. It is especially important for churches and people of faith to deepen their understanding of the moral and ethical consequences of nuclear weapons. The macabre replica of "Fat Man" on our cover page is a stark reminder that the original 20 kiloton atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, resulted in the instantaneous loss of over 50,000 human lives. The recent approval of a $740 Billion Defence Bill by the U.S. House of Representatives is further proof that a peaceful, secure world for all humans is still an illusive goal. Victorians would do well to remember that the nearby U.S. submarine/naval base in Puget Sound (Bangor, WA), boasts the largest arsenal of nuclear warheads in the world.
Our discussion of peace in the context of disarmament in this issue has also been broadened to include thoughts on peace activism and non-violent resistance. Why? Part of the answer is found in the new book Commanding Hope, by local Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon of Royal Roads University, who notes:
Nations have abjectly failed to rid the world of nuclear weapons once and for all. The great powers (and a few smaller ones, too) still deploy these hideous machines by the thousands, many on high alert, despite countless mass protests down through the years, as well as advocacy campaigns, desperate pleas by scientists and earnest commitments by statesmen. Worse, after several decades when treaties and detente did genuinely reduce the risk of nuclear war, it's now escalating again, as the U.S. pulls out of arms-control treaties, while leaders of the U.S., Russia, North Korea, India and Pakistan brag about using nukes to annihilate their enemies.
LJR #11 is available to our parishioners on the church website thanks to the excellent research, editing and media/technical skills of Sara Chu, Karyn Lehmann, Karen Coverett & Carol-Ann Zenger!
Murray Luft, Editor
To make it easy to share the articles with friends and family, you'll find the links below to their original sources.
For those written by parishioners at St. John's, we'll be adding links over the next week as we share them to the blog.
Image credit: QuartzMMN - Own work, CC BY 3.0