Today we mark yet another anniversary, the 74th, of the Little Boy nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945; one that brings great sadness, that still today we seek to bring to an end the use of nuclear weapons. CND started on its journey at a public meeting in February 1958 from Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. The symbol for CND, some have said, originally represented a human being in despair, their arms stretched downwards. They also show the letters N and D from the semaphore or flag-signalling alphabet, the N set on top of the D, nuclear disarmament, surrounded by a circle symboling Earth.
Some political organisations suggested it was an anti-christ sign, as it was an inverted cross, maybe even satanic in nature.
As one who served in the military, in the Royal Air Force, who transported nuclear weapons from the US to Europe, I am acutely aware now of what I was supporting. Having witnessing the horrors of war from on-board AWACS and then in Kuwait, I have seen the ramifications of weapon employment where the necessary collateral damage calculations, mathematical answers, were one of the critical factors in actual release. With nuclear weapons those estimates depart the reality of warfare, treating humanity as an afterthought.
I would like to draw your attention back to that symbol, for to me it still shows the cross.
Jesus didn’t merely die on the cross for us – he came to live, to teach, to heal, to protest, to turn over tables, to eat with those who you weren’t supposed to eat with, to wash feet, to tick off authorities, to forgive, to love our enemies –
what is an enemy? : one whose story we have yet to hear.
Jesus came to show us what it is to bring peace – blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Whatever your faith, your belief, the universal declaration that we should love one another defies those politicians who say the way forward is to threaten and curse those who don’t agree with them. As people of all faiths, we seek to build relationships founded on the basis of our common humanity, moral principles and international law. Our world must not remain divided into nations with nuclear weapons and those without. As we are seeing, the tension caused by this division can only increase with likely dreadful consequences for all.
By seeking an end to nuclear weapons we are seek to care for our world, where there’s a world free from war and closer to a world where we can live and love together peaceably.
(A homily for the Hebden Bridge Hiroshima Commemoration 4 August 2019 – Acknowledgments to Held-Evans, Rachel., Inspired)