Church of Scotland hails Scottish lawmakers for voting against nuclear rockets on submarines

(Photo: WCC / Paul Jeffrey)People pray of all faiths pray at a memorial in Hiroshima, Japan for the victims of the atomic bombing of the city by the United States and its allies in 1945. A delegation of pilgrims from the World Council of Churches was in Hiroshima for the commemoration , and they are building a movement to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Leaders from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland leaders have applauded members of the Scottish Parliament for voting in a debate to end the Trident nuclear weapons program.

His statement came at a time of national debate on the nuclear weapons program used to provide a protective umbrella for the United Kingdom using submarines armed with rockets.

An attack Britain's Armed Forces boss on the leader of the UK's parliament's main opposition Jeremy Corbyn and his antinuclear stance provoked an angry response from the Labour Party head.

The recently-elected Labour leader is a lifelong anti-nuclear campaigner and he hit back at the UK's chief of the defence staff General Nicholas Houghton who said Nov. 7 he would be "worried" if Corbyn became prime minister after he pledged never to press the nuclear button.

Corbyn hit back in a statement: "It is a matter of serious concern that the Chief of the Defence Staff has today intervened directly in issues of political dispute."

The Rev. John Chalmers, the Church of Scotland's Principal Clerk, had said in a Nov. 4 statement a debate at the general assembly in 1982 was a defining moment for the Church of Scotland.

Then the church, "agreed a statement which included a commitment to the Christian vocation of peace-making, opposed the use of nuclear power for war-like purposes and pressed for the immediate cessation of the further manufacture of such armaments."

"The language used then was powerful, describing the level of nuclear force held by the Government as 'absurd and sinful'.

"A year later the General Assembly went further and affirmed its "conviction that nuclear arms, including readiness to use them, are by their nature morally and theologically wrong."

Immediately after the church leaders' latest decision, the Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council, commented.

She said, "We welcome the vote and are encouraged by the fact that the two largest parties in the Scottish Parliament have joined forces to call for Trident renewal plans to be scrapped.

"For over 30 years the Church of Scotland has stated clearly that the ownership, use, or even the threat to use nuclear weapons is morally and ethically abhorrent.

"We have consistently stated that such weapons run counter to the Church's understanding of God who created the world out of love."

Foster-Fulton said the church had a deep concern for each and every person, and their families, who may lose their jobs in the event of Trident being scarpped.

"Everything must be done to support new jobs. However, the first steps must be the cancellation of a weapons system which has no part in a civilised world."

Chalmers noted, "In 1987 the General Assembly received a report on the implications for Christian Theology of the Nuclear Threat to Life; this report is still well worth reading.

"It finishes with a prayer which includes the words, 'Deliver us from the temptation of thinking that your new Earth will come through a nuclear war, or that somehow your people will survive, or that we need do nothing. And deliver us from the evil of believing that there is good in weapons that can destroy all human life.'"

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