Palm Sunday shows how quickly moods can change. In less than a week ‘Hosannah’ changed to ‘Crucify Him!’. Will the bishops’ statements against the new defence policy – where Britain is increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile – cause our government to change its mind?
It’s commonly thought that the only way to deal with violence is to use violence or to threaten its use, but real peace is deferred and enmity remains. Violence breeds violence.
The dark day of the new defence policy contrasts with the light that comes with Easter. Not only do the clocks move forward, but the light of Christ shines on us all, imperfect as we may be. He said, “‘Follow Me” and exemplified God’s love for every single person. By doing God’s will, we can abandon self-importance and begin a culture of care and compassion. This is the path to peace that the world sorely needs.
People prefer working in life-affirming activities, rather than being trapped in non-ethical work. Young people can be inspired by Church thinking to work for nonviolent solutions to world problems. Christ said, “Love your neighbour as yourself”. Telling us to love our enemies meant we should have none. We can look for the good points in others and use them to begin fruitful dialogue without any judgment.
Friendship, partnership and dialogue are always preferable to aggression. At this time of year, the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CCND) usually visits embassies prior to the associated United Nation meetings. Our focus is now on the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and encouraging more countries, including our own, to conform to this new international law.
We have a list of the Church denominational leaders who are committed to nuclear disarmament, as well as Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Stephen Cottrell. There is also a list of all the councils and other bodies which endorse the TPNW.
Our organisation is ecumenically composed, with no leader but Christ. The two co-chairs are time limited and exist to alternately run meetings and sign paperwork. We are not only interdenominational but make connections with other faiths and anyone interested in our campaigning. Our website has many ‘hits’, as does our large social media network. See: https://christiancnd.org.uk/
Michael and Patricia Pulham are on the CCND Executive.
NJPN Conference 23-25 July at https://www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/conference/