Pursuing Peace? Bombs, Missiles, and Drones! Oh My!

Reblogged from: Herald Magazine’s “Connect | Engage | Inspire”
by Bob Watkins
Lakeland, Florida, USA
(Reprinted excerpt from Florida USA Mission Center)

This reference to the Wizard of Oz makes Dorothy’s calamitous “Lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my!” seem downright tame.

As we Pursue Peace on Earth, it is hard to envision peace while we are bombarded with threats of nuclear holocaust from Iran and North Korea.

Uprisings in the Middle East continue, resulting in deaths of countless young adults raging against harsh governments. Even in our own country, we have seen people “occupying” public places in protest. We seem to be a world at war.

However, an event in 2011 may provide a glimmer of hope. On October 25, the last B53 bomb was dismantled at the Pantex nuclear weapon plant in Texas. Built in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, whose threat is well-known to Floridians, this bomb was heralded for its accuracy. Weighing 10,000 pounds and at the size of a mini-van, it was 600 times more powerful than the bomb that devastated Hiroshima, Japan. It carried the capability of leveling everything within 18 miles of the landing site.

Even as we are assured that this is a first step in reducing instruments of war, we hear that engineers in Los Alamos, New Mexico, are working on weapons to provide a paralyzing force field.

How can we, with our incredible God-given gifts of intelligence and ingenuity, create such monstrous instruments? What do these terrifying tools say about our faith? What does this tell us about our humanity and our commitment to a nonviolent Jesus?

I have the greatest admiration and respect for our military. My father and father-in-law both served our country in World War II. We need a strong, well-trained, and well-equipped military. We are certainly more secure with it at its posts.

Yet, perhaps one day the world will see that weapons of mass destruction do not provide real security. In fact, they inspire others (like Iran) to build similar weapons to ensure an uneasy balance of power.

Doctrine and Covenants 164:9c calls us to

sacramental living that respects and reveals God’s presence and reconciling activity in creation. It requires whole-life stewardship dedicated to expanding the church’s restoring ministries, especially those devoted to asserting the worth of persons, protecting the sacredness of creation, and relieving physical and spiritual suffering.

Perhaps one day our world will realize that real security begins when we align ourselves with the Prince of Peace, end wars, eliminate extreme poverty, and promote democracy through nonviolent means.

True security arrives when we share our wealth with those less fortunate so no babies starve, no families live on the streets, and all people feel a sense of worth.

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. —Isaiah 11:6 NRSV

May we, as a faith community, step confidently into a future as children of the Living Christ.

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