Contact NCC News Service: 212-870-2228  |  E-mail   |  Most Recent Stories   |  NCC Home

NCC revives its commitment
to nuclear disarmament now

New York, September 22, 2009 -- The National Council of Churches, which has been relatively silent about nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War, has firmly renewed its opposition to proliferation with a ringing resolution.

The NCC Governing Board, meeting here September 21 and 22, unanimously adopted a statement called, "Nuclear Disarmament: The Time is Now." The resolution was drafted by the Council's Justice and Advocacy Commission.

"The idea for the resolution originated from the initiative of historic peace churches in Philadelphia in January," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary. The gathering, "Heeding God's Call, A Gathering on Peace," hosted by the Church of the Brethren, Quakers and Mennonites, met January 13-17, 2009

"The end of the Cold War didn't end the nuclear threat, it only changed the character of it," Kinnamon said. "Ecumenical opposition to nuclear weapons has been on the back burner and there was a strong feeling it was time to bring it back to the front burner."

The resolution reiterates the NCC's historic declaration that nuclear weapons are a violation of God's law, and the idea that they deter enemy attacks is nonsense.

The resolution quotes Jonathan Granoff, author of "The Fire Next Time: Faith and the Future of Nuclear Weapons" in Reflections. "Nuclear weapons are of no value against terrorists, they're suicidal to use against a country that has them, and it's patently immoral to use against a country that doesn't have them," Granoff declares. "So why do we have them?"

"True security and authentic freedom," the resolution states, "derive only from our sovereign Creator."

As North Korea and Iran move closer to developing nuclear weapons, the United States must take the lead to bring "the diplomatic weight of the whole rest of the world" to disarm.

But is it possible to put the genie back in the bottle? The resolution offers a qualified "yes, because once the current worldwide stockpile of weapons is eliminated, it will become extremely difficult to assemble the raw materials to make a new one without the rest of the world taking notice."

The resolution calls on NCC member communions to make their voices heard in Congress and the White House to "reaffirm the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons."

Communions are also urged to support the work of the NCC "in carrying out an effective program advocating for nuclear disarmament."

The NCC resolution will be shared with the Board of Directors of Church World Service. If the board approves it, the resolution will come before the NCC/CWS General Assembly November 10-12 in Minneapolis for action as a General Assembly resolution.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 914-589-6948 (cell) ,

Return to NCC Home Page