Fallout from nuclear weapons may linger, but the lasting effects of bombs and torture on the human psyche is transferable through generations as hatred is kindled and explodes in a variety of forms of violence and terror.
A few years ago, we went on a hunt for "WMD" in Iraq, while it escaped us that the biggest weapon of mass destruction was the totalitarian regime, which implemented torture and killings. If you think about it, the actions of that regime, in fact, had both short- and long-term physical and psychological effects on the victims.
The bigger discussion here is that of "just war." Is there such a thing?
St. Augustine introduced the conversation to the Western church. We in Eastern Christianity have not developed this discussion to the extent Augustine did, which might explain the proliferation of massacres and even genocide in our pockets of the world. Is there a time when the violence, war and nuclear weapons are justified?
The truth is, when we look at this topic from a religious perspective, and in particular a Christian one, there is only one answer.
It's based on the reality that for God, all wars are civil wars. Ultimately, we need to go one step further and say there is no defense for weapons of any sort. Unfortunately, we're not all on the same playing field. This discussion is absurd for too many people. For that reason, the actions of this interfaith group of leaders are truly commendable. These are the first steps toward peace. Our prayers should be with them and for our world.
FATHER VAZKEN MOVSESIAN
In His Shoes Ministries