Today is the trident debate in Parliament. I have been one of those people, together with a number of Church leaders nationally and locally who has been lobbying against the replacement of the Trident Missile system. There are various reasons for my thoughts on this.
Firstly, as a Christian, I find the use of weapons of mass destruction to be inconsistent with the life and witness of Jesus Christ. The kind of destruction that today’s nuclear weapons would wreak is surely unnacceptable to anyone who has an ethical bone in their body. The deterrent argument assumes a level of rational and responsible thinking, which in the current global political climate, can no longer be assumed, not least in the Middle East. What right do we have to be telling Iran what to do when we are about to re-arm ourselves?
Secondly, the costs involved, although they would constitute only 1% of our GDP are still colossal. Such resources could be better used to build a safer world by doing more to aid the world’s poor and marginalised. From what I read, some of that money could be better used in making sure that the our current armed forces have the right equipment for the job and housing of a good standard.
Thirdly, you can’t help but feel that somehow, ‘being a nuclear power’ is exactly that. It is about raw power and carries with it the pathetic inference if you want to be a ‘big boy’ in the arena of global politics you have to have a nuclear arsenal. This is surely adolescent. How much more mature to take a stand on what is right and to do all we can to rid the world of these appalling weapons.
Who said Bishops never speak up?