Thinking Anglicans

bishops oppose Trident

A letter appears in the Independent newspaper this morning. You can read it here, but the format makes it difficult. The text is therefore reproduced below. The newspaper does not list all the signatories, so they are listed in full below.

Sir: We write to add our voice to the public debate on the issue of the maintenance and renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons programme demanded by the House of Commons Defence Committee. We urge MPs seriously to consider our views when they come to a formal debate in the House and take part in any subsequent vote.

Whatever our various views on conventional warfare, we all agree that Just War arguments rule out the use of nuclear weapons and such weapons challenge the very core of Judeo-Christian Faith where humanity is given responsibility for the stewardship of God’s creation. But there are also practical, moral and economic objections to the basic concept of having a deterrent.

Practical because a deterrent is only effective if a potential enemy knows for certain it will be used. But the use of nuclear weapons would not be an option for us, as that would be nothing less than the mass murder of thousands if not tens of thousands of innocent civilians. The resultant fall-out from a tactical or battlefield weapon could not be confined to a particular area.

Moral because it is morally corrupting to threaten the use of weapons of mass destruction even when there is no real intention of using them.

Economic because the use of limited resources on WMDs diverts those resources from education, health and aid to those who are the poorest and most in need.

Humanity has the power to make or mar this planet. Current concern over global warming and the environment, as well as poverty and debt among the world’s most vulnerable people, demonstrate the need to re-engage with the task of caring for the world and its people.

Human dignity and freedom are foundation values for all people. Humanity has a right to live in dignity and freedom without fear. Trident and other nuclear arsenals threaten long-term and fatal damage to the global environment and its peoples. As such their end is evil and both possession and use profoundly anti-God acts.

Nuclear weapons are a direct denial of the Christian concept of peace and reconciliation, which are social and economic as well as physical and spiritual. The Christian Gospel is one of hope, enabling humanity to live in harmony with itself and nature and leading to prosperity and community life marked by joy.

At the Gleneagles summit a year ago the G8 pledged to “Make Poverty History” and to end the debt burden on the world’s poorest countries. The costs involved in the maintenance and replacement of Trident could be used to address pressing environmental concerns, the causes of terrorism, poverty and debt, and enable humanity and dignity to be the right of all, and would go a long way towards helping Make Poverty History.

RT REVD PETER PRICE, BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS;
RT REVD COLIN BENNETTS, BISHOP OF COVENTRY
RT REVD MICHAEL HILL, BISHOP OF BRISTOL
RT REVD RICHARD LEWIS, BISHOP OF EDMUNSBURY AND IPSWICH
RT REVD JOHN SAXBEE, BISHOP OF LINCOLN
RT REVD TIMOTHY STEVENS, BISHOP OF LEICESTER
RT REVD JACK NICHOLLS, BISHOP OF SHEFFIELD
RT REV DR DAVID JAMES, BISHOP OF BRADFORD
AND 12 SUFFRAGAN BISHOPS

The suffragans are:
Stephen Lowe, Hulme
Stephen Cottrell, Reading
David Hawkins, Barking
Peter Broadbent, Willesden
James Langstaff, Lynn
David Rossdale, Grimsby
Ian Brackley, Dorking
James Bell, Knaresborough
Michael Lewis, Middleton
Graham Cray, Maidstone
Nicholas Baines, Croydon
Richard Inwood, Bedford

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Cheryl Clough
Guest

May God bless the signatories to this petition. And may God bless all moderates, of whatever faith or movement, that can envision and walk towards a future without slavery (in whatever form), fear or power mongering, and embrace reverence for all of God’s creation.

Alison
Guest
Alison

Trident? From the title, I thought there were bishops opposing the Tridentine mass! That seemed singularly pointless.

This is a much more reasonable blog entry than I had feared. Good on those bishops!

Prior Aelred
Guest

After what seems to me extraordinarily sad equivocation from the Bishops’ bench regarding the ministry of gays in the Church & reproductive health & the right to die with dignity & I can’t remember what all else, I am pleasantly surprised to see some of the political appointees of the ecclesiastical establishment saying the right thing — & I heartily reiterate what Cheryl Clough said at 11:39am BST!

Tony B
Guest
Tony B

What about the Bishops who didn’t sign? What do they think?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Presumably the Bishops who didn’t sign think that the Bishops who did sign are a bunch of pacifist idiots who have no expertise on the majority of what they talk about in their statement.

I certainly don’t agree with them that, “…Just War arguments rule out the use of nuclear weapons…”.

Jeremiah 48v10: “Cursed be he that doeth the work of Jehovah negligently; and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.”

If these Bishops had been around in Jeremiah’s day, the would have been petitioning the king not to renew his sword construction contracts.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Perhaps they are becoming Valiant for truth ? Realising the dominical teaching against all violence and war,as in the sermon on the Mount / Plain, and the practice of the first followers of the Way.

‘Blessed are the poor in spirt.’

It is never to late to turn our feet to the Way, while we have breath.

‘Come , come everyone come–this caravan is not of Despair.’ (Rumi)

The Hindu and the Sikh faiths teach ahimsa, as did Gandhi; and the Buddha also points to the way of understaning and love.

‘May all beings be well
May all beings be happy’.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Laurence Roberts wrote: “Perhaps they are becoming Valiant for truth ? Realising the dominical teaching against all violence and war,as in the sermon on the Mount / Plain, and the practice of the first followers of the Way.”

No. They are being valiant for their own liberal personal political opinions. They are CofE bishops, and the 39 articles explicitly state a contrary position to your misunderstanding:

“XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.

It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.”

Tony B
Guest
Tony B

>It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.”

But just wars, presumably? Are you being valiant for your own illiberal personal political opinions?

mynsterpreost
Guest
mynsterpreost

The Ordinal only requires an acceptance that ‘the historic formularies of the Church of England’ such as the 39 Articles of Religion ‘bear witness’ to the faith. OK so the sort of folk who insist that the AV is the authoritative Word of the Almighty might maintain something similarly unchanging and absolute about the ‘Articles’, but we are only required to see them as faithful in their ancient context. I don’t honestly think they were drafted with WMD in mind. A similar point might be made about the NT injunctions to honour civil authority — does that make Christian civil… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.”

This is not to “explicitly state a contrary position to your misunderstanding”.

This is stating that it is lawful, not good, great, commanded.

Only lawful. One needs not disobey.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

There is also a big difference between a sword and a weapon of mass destruction. There is a difference between using mutagenic weapons that leave a legacy long after the conflict has been resolved (even if it is that the parties have managed to annihilate each other). There is a difference between carrying a sword and being prepared to use it to defend yourself in one-on-one combat and using a weapon from a vantage where the target has no hope of protecting themself (e.g. snipers). There is a difference between two parties having a fair fight and conflict mongerers turning… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Cheryl wrote: “Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists…”

Obviously it is the people who *aren’t* scriptural purists who really understand the intent of the bible.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Laurence wrote: “Realising the dominical teaching against all violence and war,as in the sermon on the Mount / Plain, and the practice of the first followers of the Way.” Andy wrote: “XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates. … It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.” Tony wrote: “But just wars, presumably? Are you being valiant for your own illiberal personal political opinions?” Laurence asserted that the sermon on the mount prohibits all violence and war. Not “prohibits all non-just war”. These Bishops are ignorant concerning… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Cheryl wrote: “To despise such people is biblical.”

Maybe. But someties God *curses* those who are abstaining from violence.

Jeremiah 48v10: “Cursed be he that doeth the work of Jehovah negligently; and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.”

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I don’t care WHAT the 39 Articles say. I’ll try and go on staking my life on the teaching of Jesus, though it comes through the prism of the gospels; and his spirit in the here and now. IT is backed-up by the costly praxis of the first followers of the Way –long before they had bishops, Creedal christologies,or Articles ! And also backed-up by the expereince and teaching of Buddha and Gandhi.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Andy you sure do love (to quote) Jeremiah 48.10. I’d be in your debt if you could at least hint at that verse’s place in the message of Jeremiah (the verse alone sounds like a jeremiad ! oops, sorry! 🙂 ). Also the place of this verse in the whole counsel of God (space permitting). This is too much for any one of us, but I guess we must explore it…

My sense , right now,in this moment, is of one thing :–

the Lord Jesus Christ (would) destroys no one.

(He hasn’t got it in him)

mynsterpreost
Guest
mynsterpreost

“tactical uses of trident nuclear missiles”

I thought Trident was strategic. If Trident is being recategorised as a tactical weapons system then we ought to be REALLY worried.

mynsterpreost
Guest
mynsterpreost

” The Americans were thinking of launching an invasion, and one of their concerns was a single tactical nuke being able to wipe out their entire invasion force as they massed for the crossing.”

Ermm…. perhaps the American’s shouldn’t have been thinking of invading a sovereign state in the first place?

mynsterpreost
Guest
mynsterpreost

apologies — my last post contained a grocer’s apostrophe. A typo, not a grammatico, I promise (or, perhaps, “promi’se”?)

Andy
Guest
Andy

Laurence wrote: “IT is backed-up by the costly praxis of the first followers of the Way –long before they had bishops, Creedal christologies,or Articles ! And also backed-up by the expereince and teaching of Buddha and Gandhi.”

This is a CofE forum, hence I quote the 39 articles. You on the other hand, quote the “experience and teaching” of pagans.

And you’re wrong about the first Christians not having bishops:

Phillipians 1v1:
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”

Andy
Guest
Andy

Laurence wrote: “I’d be in your debt if you could at least hint at that verse’s place in the message of Jeremiah” This is not the right forum for discussing the message of Jeremiah. Laurence wrote: “the Lord Jesus Christ (would) destroys no one.” In your desire to have harmony between the Word of God and the human philosophy of pagans such as Budda and Gandhi, you are having to blot out of your mind what the Word of God tells us about the Lord: Jude 1:5: “Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

For myself, I do not believe the sermon on the mount ‘prohibits’ anything. I don’t think Jesus’ teaching says in advance in any or every situation, this is what you must do. But that, at any moment, this is the kind of thing that Love or the Kingdom * may require of you. ( * / Queendom / Commonwealth / Republic ) Advices & Queries is inspiring too, I feel, and in this spirit :– 1. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Andy you wrote “Cheryl wrote: “Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists…” Obviously it is the people who *aren’t* scriptural purists who really understand the intent of the bible.” This is sloppy logic. SOME people who are liberals and call for the end of unethical weapons and war IS NOT THE SAME as ALL people who aren’t scriptural purists. Also, you failed to distinguish between just and unjust, ethical and unethical. Even the US government has (finally) moved further than you,… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Bishop”, Deacon”, “Hell”…

It seems that Andy need to get himself a correct translation.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Göran wrote: “”Bishop”, Deacon”, “Hell”…

It seems that Andy need to get himself a correct translation.”

There’s no such thing as a “correct” translation, but I have the AKJV, ASV, KJV, RNKJV, RSV, RNKJV, all translating “episkopos”, “diakonos” & “gehenna” as “Bishop”, “Deacon” & “Hell”.

The translation of each of these words is good. None of them are 1:1 mappings, but neither would any other Enlish words be.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Cheryl wrote: “Andy you wrote “Cheryl wrote: “Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists…” Obviously it is the people who *aren’t* scriptural purists who really understand the intent of the bible.” This is sloppy logic. SOME people who are liberals and call for the end of unethical weapons and war IS NOT THE SAME as ALL people who aren’t scriptural purists.” It wasn’t logic, it was irony. I made no logical connection between your statement and mine. But since you’ve raised… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

mynsterpreost wrote: “thought Trident was strategic. If Trident is being recategorised as a tactical weapons system then we ought to be REALLY worried.” We could argue over the definitions of strategy and tactics, but I don’t think its particularly fruitful. I would think Trident as a deterent is strategy, and as a deployed weapon is tactical. But Trident is not the real issue here. It is *all* nuclear weapons: The Bishops statement read: “…we all agree that Just War arguments rule out the use of nuclear weapons and such weapons challenge the very core of Judeo-Christian Faith…” These CND infiltrators… Read more »

mynsterpreost
Guest
mynsterpreost

Can anyone explain to this simpleton why the AV is still so often the preferred translation of theologically conservative English-speaking Christians? Surely they should be using the most accurate renderings of Scripture if it’s that important to them?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Andy wrote: “There’s no such thing as a “correct” translation”.

You know that? And yet you defend translating “episkopos”, “diakonos” & “gehenna” as “Bishop”, “Deacon” & “Hell”?

They are all incorrect.

(The Swedish 1541 gives “Biscopar och tienare”, the 1917 “församlingsföreståndare och församlingstjänare”, the 1981 “församlingsledarna och hjälparna”)

laurence roberts
Guest
laurence roberts

Jesus help !
Mary pray !

Andy
Guest
Andy

Göran wrote: “Andy wrote: “There’s no such thing as a “correct” translation”.

You know that? And yet you defend translating “episkopos”, “diakonos” & “gehenna” as “Bishop”, “Deacon” & “Hell”?

They are all incorrect.”

Your comment is absurd. By your definition *all* translation of any language into another is “incorrect”.

Göran wrote: “(The Swedish 1541 gives “Biscopar och tienare”, the 1917 “församlingsföreståndare och församlingstjänare”, the 1981 “församlingsledarna och hjälparna”)”

Why are you posting Swedish on an English forum? And why do you think that your Swedish translations are not “incorrect” by your own definition?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

It’s strange to see all these Calvinist readings of dear Dr Hooker and the XXXIX Articles.

Wasn’t Dr Hooker defending the Via Media of the Church against the Gregorian past (and Tridentine present) of schismatic Rome, and, equally, against the extreme Neo Platonism of secarian Calvinism?

It does look like the acrobatics performed by the Pietists over the German Lutheran Books of Concord ;=)

David
Guest

Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the
Children of God
(Mat 5:9)
Jesus’s way is not by sword but by cross
http://club.us.cyworld.com/prcc