Western Quarterly Meeting united in support of the following minute in its Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business held via Zoom on 18 April 2021. Western Quarterly sends this minute on to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting clerks for discernment and sharing with Friends and Meetings. London Grove Monthly Meeting has shared this minute with Friends Committee on National Legislation.
Minute Supporting the Prevention of Nuclear War – Approved August 2, 2020 LGMM
This year, on August 6th and 9th, we mark the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, by our country. As the world leader in the development of these terrible weapons, we as Americans feel a heightened responsibility to help ensure they are never again used. To help us understand afresh the scope of our responsibility, it may help us to reflect that in the willful detonation of these two nuclear devices against civilians, our country almost instantaneously compassed the deaths of more than the number of Americans we currently mourn as lost to us in the pandemic sweeping our land. Our country currently holds and maintains some 5,800 of these weapons of mass destruction. To build this arsenal, our government carried out 1,030 nuclear test detonations, and is now proposing to resume nuclear weapons testing.
The danger of nuclear war is enormous and growing. The technological and human complexity involved in the systems that manage the world’s arsenals of nuclear weapons makes these systems inherently unreliable. The proliferation of nuclear weapons could snowball. As the speed of the world’s missiles and aircraft have increased the time to respond to an attack has decreased. Increasing uncertainty and distrust among the world’s nations increases the likelihood of an accidental nuclear war. The development of easier to use nuclear tactical weapons and the further proliferation of nuclear technology make nuclear war more likely. There are some who would like to trigger a nuclear war. Nuclear extortion could take various forms.
Some think that the abolition of nuclear weapons is an impossible goal. We think it achievable. We support the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) efforts to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty was adopted by 122 nations on 7 July 2017. The United States had no part in its drafting, and has not signed nor ratified it.
We propose that the occasion for wars would be lessened if all the planet’s people had their basic life needs met. A global diversion of military spending to life affirming investments is our best plan for peace, security, and the prevention of nuclear war.
Preventing nuclear war extends beyond international diplomacy. It must be a collaboration of governments, businesses, transnational corporations, civic organizations and individuals; to individually and collectively change our understanding and control of nuclear weapons.
We join with the surviving victims of our nuclear attacks and their supporters in calling for methodical outlawing and dismantling all nuclear weapons.
Peter Weygandt, Clerk London Grove Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Bob Frye, Clerk Western Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends