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Grassroots Action Center

Stand for Peace and Tell Your U.S. Senator to Vote for the PLANET Act
August 6 and 9 will mark the 75th anniversary of the US’s bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The consequences of the attacks were devastating. The bombings killed an estimated 214,000 people, and the resulting radiation caused higher rates of cancer, leukemia, and miscarriages among survivors. Between 1945-1992, the United States conducted over 1000 nuclear tests in a decades-long arms race with the Soviet Union.
 
Nuclear tests endanger the health of humans and threaten God’s creation. And, since 1946, when the churched urged “drastic cuts in national armaments through international agreement,” the PCUSA has called on the global community to seek international disarmament and arms control measures (PCUSA, 1946, p. 197).  The 223rd General Assembly (2018) called upon the PC(USA) to “renounce any policy that threatens the death of millions of God’s children in any land with a single command and a single warhead.” And, it called the church to “renounce the false god of nuclear security with its promise of catastrophic consequences” (Overture 09-08). 
 
In the mid-90s, the United States was the first nation to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, placing a moratorium on explosive nuclear weapons testing. Although Congress eventually rejected the treaty, the US has not tested any nuclear weapons since 1992 with other countries following suit.
 
All of this could soon change. According to a recent report, the Trump administration is considering ending the existing moratorium. Renewing testing could cause other nations to feel threatened, aggravate our allies, and potentially open the door to another destructive arms race. The only country that has conducted nuclear tests this century is North Korea.
 
Fortunately, the administration needs Congressional approval for funding before restarting testing. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) recently introduced the Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosives Testing (PLANET) Act. The PLANET Act would block funds from being used for nuclear testing and prevent this administration from causing a global return to testing. Contact your senators and encourage them to co-sponsor and vote for this critical legislation! Thankfully, several senators have already co-sponsored this bill; if your senator is one of them, be sure to send them a message thanking them for standing for peace!
 
We also encourage congregations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Consider dedicating a sermon, adding liturgical elementsprayers for peace for nuclear disarmament, or read stories from survivors. Visit the Back From the Brink campaign website for more commemoration information and ideas.
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