Proposed Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly Resolution regarding banning nuclear weapons

Time of Remembrance 2019 and lament related to Hiroshima and Nagasaki  - August 6, 5, and 8

Background on suffering from WWI

         The Forgotten Pandemic

         The Minnesota Connection

         A Personal Experience

         Cautions on Suicide and Sacrifice

          Sermon Thoughts

          Rev. Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug articles on Sacrifice-  A Message on the use of Sacrifice

          Rev. Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug-Longer Article on Sacrifice 

Additional materials at:

             Suggested liturgy for observing the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day


               Minneapolis Area Synod - 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day Resources

Global Ceasefire

Time to Cease Fire- Take a global breath in killin each other--

while we still can

By Deacon Dr. Amy Blumenshine

 How do we understand protecting American lives with today’s 2020 vision?  Our country has stockpiled more than enough bombs to annihilate the world, but not enough virus shielding gear to keep our healthcare providers alive. The US has spent or obligated $6.4T on wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq but we don’t have enough basic materials to test for a killer virus.  Let’s take a collective deep breath and realize: we need to shift from a culture of war to a culture of care.

As the Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres notes: “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.” He has called for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.  “Fight Corona virus, not each other.”

“Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.  The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly,” said the UN chief.   “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”

He concluded with this call: “End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.  It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now.  That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.” 

Shortly after his announcement, communist rebels in the Philippines announced that they are complying with the UN request.  They say they are doing so independent of actions by their government adversary.  Armed groups in Cameroon, Yemen and Syria are taking hopeful steps towards ceasefire. Russia has also joined the at least 53 countries who back the appeal.

Pope Francis also joined the call for a global ceasefire.  " Conflicts are not resolved through war,” he noted.  Instead, antagonism and differences  “must be overcome through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”

Now it’s our turn.

Imagine if the US announced it was also observing the ceasefire to focus on humanitarian relief at home and abroad.  We would temporarily cease hostilities directed at other countries during this special time period, including by our mercenaries and proxies.   Finally – at least for the time of ceasefire – there would be clarity in US foreign policy: Stop hurting people. After all, some countries, like Libya and Syria, have suffered from a confused US backing and arming of multiple sides. New arms sales would be paused. The sanctions, another way to hurt people, would also be lifted to permit needed supplies. 

Perhaps we can count as our start to the ceasefire the decision to cancel the NATO war games along the border with Russia.  When 35,000 troops and their weapons are massed along a country’s borders, that country will feel threatened. Accordingly, Russia had planned its own military “game” on its side of the border at the same time. This scenario was ripe for disaster. Now Russia too has canceled after NATO did. The waste of millions of dollars and nonrenewable resources along with much unnecessary pollution was prevented – not to mention the possible incitement of WWIII. What a good decision cancelling has proven to be.

Consider our troops (and those of other nations) separated from loved ones at their time of need and kept in infection prone conditions, like those on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.  People employed in the military have human needs, too.  Why must their lives be damaged unnecessarily? It’s time to take a break from hurting each other and turn to cooperating to stop the impact of the virus. s

This global ceasefire will take a while to go into effect so compliance should not be judged immediately.  Our own functionaries alone will take some convincing that we’re serious. Afterall, it was recently announced that—rather than boosting Covid resistance, perhaps aiding Ecuador – the US is boosting additional special forces teams, surveillance aircraft, and war ships to threaten--if not harm--Venezuelans. And now, pandemic imperiled sailors are off to the South China Sea.

While it may take some time to turn the proverbial aircraft carrier, we can immediately pause aerial bombing and pause US special forces lethal activities in countries around the world.

This is my call:  Ceasefire so we can breathe.

Take a deep breath, concentrate on your breathing,  concentrate on the breathing of the planet, concentrate on the breathing of your loved one, your neighbor, your neighbor in Canada, your neighbor in Mexico, your neighbor in Siberia, your neighbor who speaks Chinese.  Connect with the humanity of all striving to breathe under this pandemic, and muster our cooperative resources to heal—while we still can.