An excerpt from Clare Grady’s oral arguments earlier this month in Georgia. Clare is a member of the Kingsbay Plowshares 7.
At this point, I would like to take a moment to look at the word religion. I learned that it has its roots in the word re-ligament. I translate that as re align, or to be in right relationship. Before I finish my time, I would like to share a few paragraphs from my affidavit and my testimony from the evidentiary hearing. All of my testimony was about religion, was about seeking right relationship. I will begin with a passage I quoted from Mark’s gospel chapter 12. It was the Sunday Mass reading on November 9, 1958, the day that I was born. In many ways it has been a rudder in my faith journey, one that has informed my religious beliefs, choices and practices.
“Hear O Israel the Lord our God is Lord Alone! You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength, and ……. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater that these” MK 12:29
Nuclear Weapons eviscerate and violate the possibilities of loving God and neighbor. We cannot build, posses, maintain and threaten the use of Nuclear Weapons AND love God, as if God were Lord alone. Loving God requires trusting God, and reverencing the sacredness of all God’s creation. Nuclear weapons have become and idol, replacing trust and love of God with the willingness to threaten and destroy all of God’s creation in the illusory pursuit of maintaining power and control.
This “greatest commandment” from Mark’s Gospel that links love of God with love of neighbor, gets more specific in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, when Jesus says “whatsoever you do to the least, you do to me.”
With that in mind, the statement that we brought with us to Kings Bay on April 4th and 5th, 2018 says “Nuclear Weapons kill every day by their mere existence. Their production requires mining, refining, testing and dumping of radioactive material, which poisons sacred Earth and Water, all on Indigenous land. We see the billions of dollars it takes to build and maintain the Trident system as stolen resources, which are desperately needed for human needs. We see nuclear weapons as a cocked gun, the biggest gun, used 24/7 to ENFORCE the many layers of state-sponsored violence and deadly force required to maintain white supremacy, global capitalism and global domination”.
I see our/my action, as inspired by Jesus and the Gospels, a loving response to this systemic harm of the “least’, that is being done in my name, an act seeking to heal and find right relationship with God and neighbor.
Thanks to the prophet Isaiah for the invitation…
To go up to the mountain of the Lord, to be taught in God’s ways…
To hammer swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.
To train for war no more, that we may walk in the light of the Lord.