Sunday, 26 July 2015

70th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

At Conference, I was privileged to meet Sue Gale, seen here at the Methodist Peace Fellowship stall. She is the daughter of Kenneth Greet, a former President of Conference, who did so much to advance the cause of Peace.  

Thursday 6 August marks the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and Sunday 9 August is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. JPIT has produced some resources to help churches reflect on these anniversaries.

I was talking to a visitor to Englesea Brook yesterday about the dropping of the nuclear bomb in 1945.  I was challenged to think when he said, ‘Has this single act done the most to ensure World Peace?’  While there may be some truth in this, my thoughts also turn to the paper cranes that were sent by the people of Hiroshima to New York after 9/11.  What acts can we do to stand on the side of peace not war?

This week, Steve and I signed the following statement.

'We remember with deep sorrow the hundreds of thousands of people who died in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on those two fateful days and in the months and years afterwards. Nuclear weapons are by their very nature devastating and indiscriminate. The construction and use of nuclear weapons is a deep shame and a denial of God's love for humanity and for all of creation. It is vital that our technological prowess be accompanied with a greater commitment to the values of love, respect and restraint. True wisdom should lead us to put in place a verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons.'

I have also signed the interfaith statement on nuclear weaponsIt will be read out at the commemoration service on 6 August, at The Light, the Quakers new conference hall in Euston.  
Kenneth Greet wrote these words, which have influenced me as I seek to follow in Christ's way of peace. 

The pacifist Christian believes that obedience to Christ involves absolute dedication to the way of reconciling love exemplified in the cross of Christ. He does not reject all use of force, but the wholesale killing of men, women and children which war involves is an evil so great as to blot out any good that might be hoped for by those who believe they are defending Christian values. He argues that there is no hope for the world unless the nations renounce war, and that Christians must pioneer the movement towards that renunciation.’

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