Page 4, 31st October 1980

31st October 1980
Page 4
Page 4, 31st October 1980 — Speak out for peace loudly and NOW
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Organisations: United Nations, Congress

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Speak out for peace loudly and NOW

MANY will have been appalled by the recent statement made by Mrs Thatcher. exhorting the arms salesmen to greater efforts in selling armaments abroad, The Guardian says Britain's "merchants of death" are expected to sell military equipment to the value of £1.200 million this year, but this isn't enough for our Prime Minister. Many arms will end up in the hands of oppressive governments.

Even the wicked regime of Chile is back on the export list. Many countries which buy our armaments cannot even feed their populations let alone afford sophisticated military equipment.

Britain is also the world's second largest exporter of police and paramilitary equipment — the tools of repression.

As Christians, we have a committment to work for peace, we should actively support the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. We should complain to our MPs and Government Deportments about our country's disgraceful contribution. John Gorden Hastings East Sussex THE PRESIDENT of the Methodist Conference is calling on ell Methodists to sign a petition demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons and by agreed stages of conventional arms, leading to general and complete disarmament; also the transference of military expengiture to end world poverty. This petition is being circulated. worldwide, by the organisers of "Campaign for World Disarmament", and because it is addressed to all governments and to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Disarmament 1982, it curries no political bias.

National governments do not of themselves possess the moral and spiritual driving force required for the implementation of the UN system or universal disarmament. Public Opinion is therefore a vital requirement in preparing the ground for the next UN special disarmament session in 1982.

Far too many Christians believe that national defence matters are outside the terms of reference of their religion. in spite of the fact that nowhere in Christian guidelines is any aspect of human behaviour excluded from Christian, i.e. spiritual analysis.

Leaders of all Christian denominations therefore have an overriding authority to lead their flocks into appropriate spiritual pastures in the most serious crisis that has ever confronted mankind.

Edith Hedger London SW10 THERE WAS A very pertinent summary. October 3, of resolutions passed by the Justice Sector at the National Pastoral Congress. I particularly welcomed the call to the Christian to place the moral implications of possessing nuclear weapons above any practical considerations. How easily the persuasive arguments on the impracticality of disarmament spring to people's lips nowadays. It is left to the Christian and in particular members of a Church which has always crusaded for the rights of the unborn, the chronically sick and the elderly to be consistent in their "reverence for life" and to crusade for the "right" of all humanity to life — life without the nuclear threat.

Teresa Williams Hornsey London I WARMLY support Mgr Bruce Kent's call for a clear statement from the Hierarchy on nuclear armaments. It is immoral to use a nuclear weapon which would kill hundreds of thousands or millions of people; indeed it is immoral even tb threaten to do so. A nuclear war could destroy humanity itself. It is therefore a primary duty of our pastors to warn against, denounce and prevent in so far as they can such misuse of natural forces. If these propositions are accepted, nothing can justify the failure of our pastors to speak out. C. J. Cunningham Gothcnngton Cheltenham




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