Today, American President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the most expansive nuclear arms treaty in more than 10 years. The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) comes after a year of negotiations between the U.S. and Russia on the subject. It will eliminate some of our outdated weaponry and reduce the size of both countries' nuclear arsenals. Deployed strategic weapons (i.e., missiles and bombs) will go down from 2,200 to 1,550, and delivery vehicles (i.e., bombers, silos, and submarines) will drop to 800.
"There are approximately 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world today -- 95 percent of which are in the United States and Russia -- but even one detonation would cause unimaginable suffering and loss of innocent life, as well as environmental and financial fallout," stated the Rev. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, an expert on the ethics of nuclear weapons policy and Director of the Two Futures Project, a growing movement of American Christians dedicated to the moral imperative of nuclear abolition. "We firmly believe that the ratification of the START treaty is a critically important step that the Senate can take to improve American citizens' security from nuclear conflict, especially the threat of nuclear terrorism."
Moving toward a world free of nuclear weapons was the dream of President Ronald Reagan and is supported by Reagan's former Secretary of State, George Shultz.
I think this treaty makes us safer and is consistent with the divine call upon Christians to be peacemakers, which is why I added my voice to a Christian movement supporting the signing of the START treaty. I commented, "Implementing the new START agreement is significant because it reduces the massive stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and increases existing weapons monitoring. Christians are compelled by our holy Scriptures and the example of our Lord Jesus Christ to work toward peace in a fallen world literally hell-bent on waging war."
To learn a Christian perspective on nuclear weapons, check out The Two Futures Project.
Jonathan Merritt is author of Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet. He blogs regularly at JonathanMerritt.com.
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