If any sensible enemy with nukes wants to take out the UK, a pre-emptive strike on Faslane might be an obvious move; it wouldn’t get rid of our Trident missiles but it would be a start. It also would wipe out a substantial bit of West and Central Scotland and render life even here in Desperate Dansville a tad precarious, so I think that any politician who votes to continue the sad charade of M.A.D (mutually assured destruction) should at least take up residence in the affected area. I look forward to Mrs May being amongst us here in Scotland and bringing her button with her in case she needs to push it. (“PM says she will push nuke button”- House of Commons 18th July 2016)
I understand that Mrs May has to say that, as the shaky credibility of the deterrent argument depends on our enemies -who are they? – being convinced we mean it. But in fact I’m not sure that even a rabid Tory would seriously want to fry millions of say, Korean babies, because millions of ours had already been cooked. Perhaps at that point the utter futility of nuclear response would be evident. If we were ever attacked in this way, it could be our possession of nukes and our stated willingness to use them that had prompted the attack.
I have always assumed that no Christian person could approve of issuing a threat of nuclear destruction against any other nation or of preparing the means to do so. The difficulty is Jesus, to be honest. I can imagine someone saying, I’ll fry your babies in the name of Britain. Or I’ll fry them in the name of Capitalism, in the name of the U.S.A, in the name of wee Vlad Putin, in the name of Democracy, in the name of The Donald, in the name of Allah, in the name of the Honour of Aggrieved Husbands, in the name of Christianity, yes……….but in the name of Jesus? Maybe it’s just me, but I find it impossible to associate Jesus with even the teensiest threat of frying babies.
People have tried to reason with me. Why bring Jesus into it at all, they ask, can’t we keep religion out of politics? Can’t we do our killing in the name of Theresa and our praying in the name of Jesus? Or they argue that Jesus would be in favour of nukes because he was in favour of using a whip on the temple traders. Or they suggest that threatening to fry babies is actually a way of obeying Jesus’ commandment to love our enemies, as we’re only doing it for their own good. Or they cut the cackle and say right out that although some of what Jesus taught is good, he does need a complete makeover in the response-to-aggression department, along the lines of, “If someone strikes you on your right cheek, a good smack on the head with a hammer will prevent repetion.”
None of this has convinced me at all. I think it’s as plain as your nose that Jesus and nukes just don’t go together, and that anyone who claims faith in Jesus while advocating nukes has invented his own Jesus and left the gospel Jesus behind.
Of course, there will be those who say that Jesus couldn’t envisage the kind of threat that comes from North Korea or Daesh, or China. We just need to be adult and keep our weapons as a way of balancing their power to damage us. If we get rid of them , then we’ll be invaded, taken over and forced to eat rice or wear hijabs. In face of this argument I always say, oh yes, like Norway! For everyone knows that because it has no nukes Norway has been taken over by North Koreans who have made them alter the angle of their eyes, and by Daesh who have ordered their whole population to go on annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and by China who have forced them to labour for next to nothing making trainers, while getting to work on bicycles. Godsake who would want to be a nukeless Norwegian?
Well actually, almost everybody. The fact that Norway is one of the most equal, prosperous and happy societies in the world, seems to have escaped the people who think this way. In fact if we could promise that every country could be like Norway if we gave up nukes, I guess the populations of most countries would vote to do so tomorrow.
Ah but we wouldn’t any longer have a seat at the top table of the world’s nations, to which you cannot be admitted without twiddling your nuke. And that top table has been so instrumental in making the world a safer place, where the rule of international law is respected, nobody starves, or is enslaved, or goes without medical care; and no nation is afflicted by internal violence or external terrorism…….
In reality, maybe getting rid of the top table would be an essential start to a better world.
Och, I’ve made all these arguments a thousand times before and heard the contrary arguments from the other side. But I must admit that the Trade Union argument this time fair took the wind out of my sails. They basically argued that the loss of employment involved in cancelling Trident was totally unacceptable by socialist standards, whereas on the other hand the employment of skilled workers in constructing and maintaining systems for frying babies was totally acceptable. Of all the specious arguments put forward in the debate over the past weeks, that is the one that has given me the most grievous insight into the corruptibility of the human heart.
Lord Jesus Christ, who rebuked your disciples for wanting to send fire from heaven on your enemies, rebuke the rascals who would use violence in your name, and inspire those who want to walk in your way, so that with you they may confront the crucifying powers of the world, and with you win the victory, Amen.