As I think of a world free of nuclear weapons, one of the driving reasons to work toward that end is creation.
From the beginning, orthodox Jews and Christians have affirmed that God is the Creator and Sustainer of both the world and the universe. It was at the voice of God the world was made; light separated from darkness, the waters parted, sky gathered, moon and stars to govern the night and a greater light to watch the day. Out of God’s creativity burst forth-living creatures – birds and fish and all living things. Out of God’s love these created beings were ordered. And it was through God’s heart that these creatures were charged to “be fruitful and multiply.” The culmination of God’s rupture of passion was his shaping of beings made in his image – he made them male and female. They were His icons, placed on earth and set in a garden to care for and love it, sharing in God’s own regard for the fierce wonder and beauty formed by God’s own word and breathe.
As one who is dedicated to serving God with my entire life, I must take seriously God’s petition to humankind to serve as curators of His handiwork. God gave the first couple a garden to tend. Had creation never known The Fall, caring for God’s creation may have been our full and final concern. Yet we did know the fall, and out of our fallen state we have created weapons that can reduce God’s creation to rumble with little more than the push of a button.
This is not hyperbole.
At present there are 20,000 nuclear weapons available for deployment. Just one Hiroshima-sized weapon would immediately kill 60,000 people and poison 320 miles leaving the land unlivable for at least a generation. This is utter and indiscriminate devastation delivered upon the very creation God has given those made in His image to care for. You do not have to be a card-carrying member of the Sierra Club to know that this kind of violence visited upon the ground we walk can irretrievable harm all living things. Perhaps this is the reason men and women across the political spectrum support this action. But, of course, for Christians the issue is deeper.
Scripture teaches us that heaven and earth declare the glory of God. At this moment in history, humankind possesses weapons, which at the very least, have the potential to mute Creation’s voice and scar that which God has given us. The simple fact that a head of state or – more likely – a madman armed and emboldened by twisted faith and hatred could scuttle what God has made sacred is untenable.
Adam and Eve launched our descent into sin by stepping outside the proper limits given them by their Creator; the obvious destination of said descent is clearly the final destruction of God’s first gift. We who chose to honor God and express gratitude for all He has made and given must rebuke this last and terminal step. For this reason, people of faith must look beyond the horizon to a place and time where humans cannot undo what our Lord first did. We must work for a day free from nuclear weapons.