A NEWS RELEASE
From Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA)
Winnipeg, November 25, 2004 (ELCIC)-- People right across Canada are working to oppose Canada's participation in the U.S. Missile Defence program. There is still time to press Ottawa not to participate. Provincial NO WAR coalitions emphasize that "peace is everyone's business" and respectfully disagree with a letter from the Premier's office saying that this is a federal matter.
Recently, at the BC Synod Council meeting, a motion from the Faith and Society Committee to BC Synod Council was approved: As Christians, our hope and trust can never be in a nuclear "future." A nuclear "future" (with either land based nuclear weaponry or space based weaponry) implies that as a people we are in favour of obliterating and eliminating thousands, if not millions, of people, as well as destroying vast tracts of the planet(s) and surrounding environment that God entrusts to us. A nuclear "future" implies that our hope is in weaponry and not God.
Be it resolved:
a) That our Synod Bishop immediately write a letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin on behalf of Synod Council protesting any Canadian involvement in US missile defense.
b) That the Bishop and Synod Council immediately request that the National Bishop send such a letter to the Prime Minister and seek to have the endorsement of all the Synod Bishops.
c) That our synod request of the National Church that we join with other churches in the effort to stop Canadian involvement in US missile defense.
d) Since our Federal government is moving in the direction of joining the US in their "Star Wars" initiative, the Faith and Society Committee be authorized to develop and identify educational tools from a Lutheran/Christian perspective allowing synod members opportunity for constructive means of protest.
On November 4, 2004, the Director of Project Ploughshares sent a Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. It was entitled "Canada and Strategic Ballistic Missile Defence: Arms Control and Other Imperatives." You can read it at http://www.ploughshares.ca/content/ABOLISH%20NUCS/SCFAITBriefNov04.pdf
Last March, the Canadian Council of Churches sent a letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin. It was signed by the leaders of all twenty of the churches in relationship with the Council, including ELCIC National Bishop Raymond Schultz.
It began: "We write to urge you to guide Canada toward an intensified commitment to nuclear disarmament and binding controls over ballistic missiles as the most effective and practical means of working for the safety and protection of Canadians. Strategic ballistic missile defence systems, we believe, can never satisfy the deep human yearning for immunity from nuclear terror" and concluded: "We call on you to make it clear to Canadians that this country has never advocated BMD or space weapons as a credible means of dealing with a strategic missile borne nuclear threat. Furthermore we urge your government to unequivocally reject the expensive futility of ballistic missile defence. We call on you to focus on the more realistic pursuit of diplomacy and verification technology to mitigate the missile threat, and further, to encourage the United States to do the same. The reallocation of the billions now squandered on strategic ballistic missile defence could achieve works of wonder to the benefit and sustainable security of all humanity." More at: http://www.ccc-cce.ca/english/justice/peace.htm
In addition to working on the Church Leaders' letter, Project Ploughshares participated in the development of a public "open letter" to the Prime Minister, including the preparation of a set of accompanying notes. The letter, released on March 22, was signed by an extraordinary group of Canadians. The letter with the list of well-known Canadian signatories and the accompanying notes are available at http://www.ceasefire.ca
(You can read more at http://www.ploughshares.ca/)
The ELCIC supports the work of Project Ploughshares (through GHDA) and the Canadian Council of Churches.