First use bills

To the Editor:

Aug. 6 and 9 mark the anniversary of the atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the unleashing of a horror unknown before. Despite the intentions, it gives me great pause to acknowledge our country’s actions. Now there are thousands of nuclear weapons in the hands of many countries.

In recognition of the consequences of using such weapons, in the recent past there was an effort among many nations to disarm. Recently however, countries have backed out of those treaties and a new “arms race” is in progress. Our country’s latest defense budget includes $500 billion to develop NEW nuclear weapons over the next decade. Monies that deprive us of adequate health care, education and basic life needs.

This is an urgent pro-life issue. The future of humanity and God’s creation are at risk. Pope Francis has stated that no moral reason exists to justify using nuclear weapons, and deterrence is no longer accepted as a valid reason for having nuclear weapons. While the issue may seem overwhelming, two bills have been introduced in Congress to address this issue. I urge you to contact your Congress persons to support
Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 921. These bills establish a no-first-use policy stating that the United States will never use nuclear weapons as a first strike against a country that has not launched a nuclear attack on the U.S. or a U.S. ally first.

Senate Bill 200 and House Bill 669 prohibit a president from launching a first-use nuclear strike without a Congressional declaration of war.
Who will speak up if not us? Future generations depend on us. I encourage you to educate yourself and raise awareness. Peace and all good.

JoAnn Snodgrass, Franciscan Associate of the Clinton Franciscans
Member of St. Mary Parish, Morrison, Ill.

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