What is the relationship between Catholic belief and action in regards to nuclear weapons?
First, please understand that I am not a theologian, priest, spokesman for the Catholic Church, or any kind of expert on anything. To some definitions, I may not even be Catholic. This article does not seek to define Catholicism for anybody else, it only shares my own view.
The Apostle John may have expressed the Catholic perspective most concisely when he said….
God is love.
Three simple words, which could perhaps be all any serious person really needs?
God is love.
Love is an act of surrender.
Love is an action.
God is love. And love is action. Therefore God is an action.
To put it another way…
The most credible expression of our beliefs is not what we think or say, but what we do.
From this perspective, the implications for our relationship with nuclear weapons seems clear.
From this perspective, proclaiming that we oppose nuclear weapons because they are immoral is just barely a beginning.
The real question is, what are we going to do about it? How will we make our beliefs credible by taking the leap from the talking of the talk to the walking of the walk?
If God is love, and love is action…
What action will we take?
I believe the Pope’s recent speech on nuclear weapons illustrates a challenge facing the Catholic community at large on this subject, including this typist.
As you read his speech, note how the Pope’s moral clarity is sharp and right on target, but there is no call to any specific bold practical real world action. We are not asked to do anything but pray.
I’m not dismissing the power of prayer, but doesn’t it seem likely that God is most likely to help those who are already attempting to help themselves? Isn’t God’s first response to our prayer likely to be…
“Ok, but what are you already doing about this? What action have you taken?”
From the perspective of this article, Catholic doctrine on nuclear weapons becomes most credible and powerful when it is connected directly to practical real world action.
A great example of this is Catholic Charities, the 2nd leading provider of social services to the needy in the United States, topped only by the federal government. What an impressive and entirely credible statement of Catholic philosophy!
Catholic Charities is a great example of moral theory being translated in to big bold practical real world action.
I believe that a similar powerful connection between Catholic theory and action can be accomplished on a large scale in the nuclear weapons arena.
Catholics could save the world by connecting their theory to action in the form of a billion dollar a year marketing fund for amplifying the Pope’s teachings on nuclear weapons.
If we are going to do the talking of the talk on nuclear weapons, let us do so on the very largest scale that we are capable of.
The philosophy is there. A Church structure which ties a billion Catholics together is there. A billion Catholics can clearly raise a billion dollars, so the money is there too.
All that’s left is establishing a connection between the philosophy, the structure and the money. All that’s left is the conversion of the talking of the talk in to the walking of the walk.
God is love.
Love is action.
God is action.
God is what we do.