Protection

By Alison Page, first published in the Lamlash Church Newsletter, Spring 2020.

It’s Thursday at 8pm.

I’m standing clapping in recognition of the NHS, the care workers and all of those putting their own lives at risk during this pandemic when I spot the Trident submarine lurking in the waters around Holy Isle. It sends a shiver down my spine. The sinister, slinking death machine which patrols in our waters offering “protection”.

I keep clapping though, because I am so appreciative of our support workers; I feel it would be wrong not to be showing my support. I have family, friends and neighbours who work for the NHS – I know the personal sacrifices and dedication.

£205 Billion for the Trident replacement. I read this comment on-line:-
“We can make giant mechanical whales, that can swim around the world to launch enough poison to incinerate millions of other people, in cities hundreds of miles from the sea. Yet we can’t provide a plastic face shield to a nurse during an entirely predictable health emergency.” (See Mike Small’s article State of Denial at https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/04/12/state-of-denial/ )

The Church of Scotland’s position is quite clear on nuclear weapons:

“Nuclear weapons are indiscriminate in their impact and the disproportionate scale of suffering that they are capable of unleashing makes them unjustifiable.”

“Since 1983 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has held the position that nuclear arms are by nature morally and theologically wrong. In 2015 the General Assembly reaffirmed the Church’s position that the ownership of, use of and threat to use nuclear weapons are inherently evil and stated its support for an international Nuclear Ban Treaty.”

“Attempts to sustain peace through the threat of indiscriminate mass destruction could not be further from the peace to which Christ calls us. It is vital that the UK demonstrates the sort of change it wants to see in the world; building peace through strong and courageous leadership and not by commissioning more nuclear weapons”.

One of the world’s largest arms companies, BAE Systems is coming on board to create parts for ventilators and face masks to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

The same company who has made a staggering £15 billion from the sale of weapons and services sold to Saudi Arabia. Homes in the Yemen were destroyed by coalition airstrikes.

The Supreme Court in London ruled last year the UK Government had illegally signed off on arms exports without properly assessing the risks to civilians.

Perhaps some prayerful reflection on our priorities for protection might be appropriate in the days ahead?

 

With many thanks to Alison for letting us reprint her piece here in the Voice!