Disarm Now Plowshares Statement


“I will purify you from the taint of all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.  I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put my Spirit within you and make you conform to my statutes.” Ez. 36:25-27

We walk into the heart of darkness, the Naval Submarine Base Kitsap-Bangor, housing and deploying over 2,000  nuclear warheads for Trident submarines.  By their very existence they are endangering the environment, threatening  the indiscriminate destruction of life on earth, and depriving the hungry, homeless, and jobless of billions of dollars that could supply human needs throughout the world.

The manufacture and deployment of Trident II missiles, weapons of mass destruction, is immoral and criminal under international law and, therefore, under United States law.  As U.S. citizens we are responsible under the Nuremberg Principles for this threat of first-strike terrorism hanging over the community of nations, rich and poor.  Moreover, such planning, preparation, and deployment is a blasphemy against the Creator of life, imaged in each human being.

We are called by Isaiah to take seriously our own responsibility to act as citizens of the nation that subjected the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the hell of nuclear bombing and its deadly consequences.  The United States continues to research and develop even more inhumane weapons of mass destruction.

We are called by Ezekiel to transform our own hearts and to invite all those whose hearts are hardened by blindness, fear, and mistrust of the “other” to allow theirs to be transformed into “hearts of flesh:” disarmed, compassionate, and generous.

We bring carpenters’ hammers to symbolically transform these weapons of death into material useful for homes and factories.  On this day of remembrance, All Souls Day, we bring our own blood in solidarity with the victims of war, who are invisible to those who target them.  We bring sunflower seeds to plant the hope of new life in this violated earth.  We intend to beat swords into plowshares as one step up the holy mountain where all nations can unite in peace.

At the beginning of the International Decade of Disarmament, we join with the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 2020 Vision Campaign to abolish all nuclear weapons by that year at the latest.  Nuclear weapons can never be guardians, defenders, or upholders of peace.  They are sheathed in stainless steel and metal coverings that conceal the evil incarnate lying within.  They are filled with death-dealing agents that tear apart humans and leave survivors scarred for life.  They leave no place for human care for the thousands who suffer and die in agony.  Nuclear weapons are a lie.  Their “protection” is an illusion.  They must be abolished.

“God will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”  Isaiah 2:4
Washington State
November 2, 2009

Steve Kelly, S.J.
Lynne Greenwald
Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
Susan Crane
Bill Bichsel, S.J.


2 Responses

  1. Dear five foolhardy determined Ploughshare People.

    I am sympathetic to your cause…up to a point. I have felt energised by being hostile to the authorities and speaking with righteous indignation from the moral high ground. But in the end I found it simply kept the mote firmly in my eye.

    Yes to the religious and spiritual impulse. Somewhere from that source came the idea to look with curiosity into the processes of nuclear fission. I now see that a love story gets acted out in those precious moments.
    Two kinds of energy are released out of matter in the first instant of fission: The one is clearly masculine energy, the other is typically feminine. Together they form the mushroom cloud.

    A tiny window of space-time allows us to follow the interactions and behaviour of these two kinds of energy. It is the story of Romeo and Juliet, now being acted out on the atomic stage.

    I’ve placed photographs and a commentary that track the process of this passionate and romantic – but ultimately doomed – story on a web site: , and also on a wordpress site I’m just now beginning to develop

    For me, this is the creative and right way to look at the nuclear subject. The military and the scientists can not see any of this. Whereas I believe our civil and our civilian eye, with a little bit of encouragement, can see it quite easily. This is why I’m responding to your blog.

    Suddenly, the Universe begins to look more sensible and symmetrical and profound and enchanting than I have known – since about childhood. My stony heart has been softened.

    There’s evidence in many corners, how our work with nuclear power has unwittingly put us in contact with a living system, more than we have so far cared or dared to consider.
    I don’t know how we will resolve the weapons issue: but I do believe the next step must be to look more openly and compassionately into this smaller world that is somehow inside of where we are. We need to look with our own eyes, instead of always looking through Newton or Einstein’s glasses. The same universal forces are at work down there as are here in us. So the way out is firstly to go in much deeper.

    Okay. Thanks for this chance to add in my piece to the puzzle. Good luck with yours, and take care of your hearts.

    Ian Turnbull

  2. Since this whole idea of disarming seems to be tied to a biblical basis, what would you say to the many nations in biblical times that built walls, armies, and weapons to defend themselves from or even attack those who would seek to do harm upon them in their day? Keep in mind of course, that God himself directed and influenced nations with his blessing to do such things. Should they drop all of these things, ignoring God’s will and be the first to attempt to invite their enemies into their cities with open arms as they extend a hand out to shake as the enemies approach as you are suggesting? Mankind is “illegal” or “immoral” be default according to God, hence the reason for Jesus Christ’s visit to Earth, hence Noah and Ark, hence the inevitable doomsday. This being said, you would still take the fool heartedly mission of changing “illegal” or “immoral” policies and actions of a nation, which are inherent among EVERYONE by the way, when you yourselves are among these same people, guilty of the same crime and charges in different areas. Jesus Christ could not accomplish this same mission, and he is who he is, the SON OF GOD, enough said. People (the enemy) will always have a mind, heart and set of determined actions of which they will act on reguardless of how you conduct yourselves as a nation, having policies, personnel and even weapons in place to keep these people at bay is truly the only way to protect such freedoms we are so blessed to have as a nation.

    The will of man will not allow any such things that you desire to occur to take place. Even if it does, it will mean the ultimate undoing of the United States as you know it as a country, with no chess piece to keep at bay, the enemies who seek to destroy us (of which they are many) we will surly meet our end, quickly. If it is not us that uses such weapons and we do disarm, it WILL be our enemies that either uses these weapons on YOUR family and on YOUR house, or simply attacks with conventional warfare until we are defeated. They desire to own and occupy what we have through their own human faults, which we are all guilty of having.

    You clearly look at such issue as this with a very micro-objective outlook. How about trying this crazy and insane idea out, step back for a second and look at things with a “larger picture” mindset.

    If you REALLY, I mean really want Terrorist factions, and other foriegn military, or guerrilla military factions patrolling your street, or your mothers street, raping whatever they please, killing just because they were bored and such, then by all means, continue to tell us to disarm. Continue to tell us to put down our sharpened stick in the face of an aggrivated Lion. This will cause the enemies we, and our biblical ancestors defend ourselves from to come to our land, cut off the hand you would extend for a handshake and further rape and pillage the house belonging to you and your family, as well as the rest of the United States.

    Great outlook, you make a whole lot of sense here.

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