For more information contact Fr. Jim Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-617-7379.
Statement of Faith and Intent for Line Crossing at
STRATCOM at Offutt Air Force Base
STRATCOM at Offutt Air Force Base
August 6, 2018 by Father Jim Murphy
Three months before I was ordained in May 1981, Pope John Paul II visited Japan and the site of the first use of a nuclear bomb against civilians. In his talk, he repeatedly said: “To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future.” Thirty-seven years later, our and thus the church’s commitment to the future may seem unclear.
Since the 1980’s I’ve made many trips to Offutt AFB near Omaha. Thanks to the leadership of the Des Moines Catholic Worker, many of us remembered the presence of nuclear weapons and reflected, prayed, studied, witnessed, and sometimes crossed the line. The evil of nuclear weapons was not tens of thousands of miles away, as if nuclear destruction is unknown or no threat to our future.
In recent months, with the development of long-range missiles by North Korea, people in the US seemed to have just a passing thought that nuclear weapons may be a threat to us. There seemed to be no connection that US subs, planes and missiles are a constant threat to most other people on the face of the earth at any moment.
Last summer the UN gathered the nations of the world to support a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. As the nuclear powers refused to participate, there was little coverage to the 122 to 1 vote of nations to join the treaty to ban nuclear weapons. In November 2017, Pope Francis addressed an international symposium on a world free of nuclear weapons. He said: “if we take into account the risk of an accidental detonation as a result of an error of any kind, the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned.”
NOW IS THE TIME for me to make the walk up the inclined drive at Offutt AFB and say that my spiritual leader has condemned the work of nuclear war planning. After decades of statements from the church about the evil of the use of nuclear weapons and the loopholes of working toward disarmament, I can now be a local moral agent to communicate the condemnation of the existence of all nuclear weapons.
I invite you to join me at the entrance to Offutt AFB, Kinney Gate at 10:00 am on August 6, 2018. Come and pray and reflect and announce that nuclear weapons are evil and need to be condemned. Bring or send me a letter to Col. Michael Manion or STRATCOM commander Gen John Hyten and I will attempt to deliver these letters.
If you are unable to get to Omaha on August 6, then join us in Baltimore. On Monday, August 6 at 5 PM, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima will be commemorated with a demonstration at 33rd & N. Charles Streets against Johns Hopkins University’s weapons contracts, including research on killer drones. T
At 6 PM, there will be a potluck dinner with members of the peace and justice community in the basement of Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles Street. The group will remember the work of Dr. Dick Humphrey, a founding member of the Commemoration Committee. At 7 PM, Jay Levy will discuss how Takoma Park, Maryland became a Nuclear Free Zone, and why there is a need for a divestment campaign against corporations profiting from involvement in maintaining the nuclear weapons arsenal. Jay has been chair of the Nuclear Free Takoma Park Committee since 1993, worked for 17 years as the North American information officer for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and has been a journalist for several media outlets.
On this day, the Baltimore City Council will pass a resolution endorsing the Back From the Brink Campaign. This is a national grassroots campaign seeking to fundamentally change U.S. nuclear weapons policy by laying out five common-sense steps that the United States should take to reform its current policy. Members of Prevent Nuclear War Maryland will ask participants to endorse the campaign. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs