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1999 NCC News Archives

NCC Head Urges Senate To Ratify Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

October 7, 1999, WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Council of Churches General Secretary Joan B. Campbell joined her voice with those of other U.S. religious leaders at a news conference at the White House today to urge the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Rev. Dr. Campbell's statement follows:

"When the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, most people in the U.S. and in many other countries understood that we had used a weapon that must never be used again. Churches and church people across America have been saying this repeatedly for over fifty years.

"For over fifty years we have been in a long and painstaking journey to contain these weapons of mass destruction. And we have developed some historic landmarks along this journey. The Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963 was one essential and historic step. Achieving a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is a further essential and historic step.

"It has taken us 54 years in this journey to place before the Senate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. All of us should be filled with pride that the Senate is about to vote on this historic Treaty which churches and church people have so long advocated. Just eight months ago churches in practically every state were conducting yet one more petition drive to pass this treaty. We should be filled with pride.

"Instead, we are filled with horror, as we watch a determined Senate Majority Leader and a determined Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair using the powers of their offices to put pressure on the Republican Senators to turn this bi-partisan issue into a partisan issue in order to prevent taking this historic and essential step.

"Churches across America and around the world should be using this week to prepare celebrations and ring church bells at the passage of the Treaty. Instead, we are filled with horror. Instead, people of faith are having to mobilize yet one more time to make this step in the long journey toward insuring that nuclear weapons are never used again, that they are banned from our precious earth forever, that we can show God that we can be responsible stewards, caring for God's creation. God has set before the Senate the ways of Life and Death. We need not choose Death. We can still choose Life."

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