Existential Threats of Nuclear War and Climate Change

Existential Threats of Nuclear War and Climate Change

Rev. Mark Lukens of Bethany Congregational Church, East Rockaway, and board member of LI Alliance, made the best case for uncompromising, total opposition to war, and for a moment, even made the abolition of war seem attainable:

“These kinds of gatherings represent our willingness and courage to look fearlessly and critically at ourselves, cherished sacred cows,” he told the gathering. “It is only that kind of willingness, courage that allows us to have hope that maybe we can change the future – break the cycle of violence that is too much our history.”

World War II is probably the last war that is widely considered “the good war,” but, as he noted, “In its final days in order to bring an end to that bloodiest of all wars and defeat enemy that threatened the very foundation of human civilization, the United States, on this day in 1945, dropped an atomic bomb on city of Hiroshima, and a few days later on Nagasaki – and in a blink of an eye, in the effort to defeat a terrible foe, we committed an instant genocide of our own, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings- civilians and soldiers – unleashed on history a Pandora’s box of utter annihilation, the madness of mutually assured destruction and forever altered the ecology of our planet, even as US legitimate use of mass destruction on civilian population, and hung sword of Damocles on entire human race, a threat to entire existence on planet, we deal with to this day.

“You can argue the morality of that decision, and good men and women stand on both sides, but there can be no doubt about its legacy – like fallout, a nuclear event remains with us, polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink, poisoning the atmosphere – It is accepted, if not a legitimate means of waging war, and creating a blueprint for a pattern of atrocities we see repeated over and over again, from Bosnia, to Afghanistan to Syria to Gaza.”

“Worst of all, is the erosion of bonds of our shared humanity as the possibility of annihilating those who stand in way of national, religious aspirations, political desire – has gone from unthinkable to realizable, even the very same nations who went to war precisely to end that madness.

“That’s why events like this one tonight are so important, why it matters so much we have gathered.

“We won’t put the genie back in bottle through sanctions, threats of military force, or any of those strategies that, like bombing, make us the image of those we hate – we won’t alter the arc of human history by self-justifying..

Because change, if it is to be, can only come by altering the paradigm, by standing up as we are this evening to mourn, remember together those whose lives were taken, not as inevitable casualties of justified war but for who they really were, women, and men and children just like ours, people with hopes and aspirations, shared with those they loved, as human beings created in image of god, their lives uniquely valuable, uniquely precious and worthy of our concern –

“By bringing that message to the world, to assure that no matter how necessary, how worthy the cause, there is no such thing as a good war, because every war is about death of the innocent, the devastation of that which can never be replaced, every war destroys our planet, every war steals a bit of our future and takes from us a piece of our collective soul.

“As our planet becomes smaller, hotter and so many of our people, more desperate, we have no more pieces left to give. We can’t hide behind our arsenals any longer – as the suffering, destitute pound at our gates.

“We have to demand for ourselves as well as them, an end – not just Iran, North Korea but right here at home as well.

“For those who are yet to be, we have to make peace – and not just for some of us, all of us, because no less than the very survival of all of us is at stake.”


These quotes were taken as part of Examiner, here: http://www.examiner.com/article/hiroshima-local-activists-seek-end-existential-threats-of-war-climate-change 

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