Clothesline in Winter

Clothesline in Winter

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Christians Pray for a Sensible Arms Trafficking Treaty

Currently there are more laws governing the international sale of bananas and iPods than grenade launchers and AK-47s. - National Association of Evangelicals -

The Clothesline Report is about creation care and climate justice, right?  So what are we doing wading into the sordid world of international arms dealers who get rich off the slaughter of villagers in Congo and Sudan?
The answer isn't really all that complicated: Christians pray daily the Lord's prayer: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven." That prayer leads some of us to work for an end to human slavery and child labor; some work for redemptive immigration policies; some advocate for living wage standards; others care for aging parents and vulnerable children.
At the Clothesline, we  encourage our friends to protect the increasingly threatened natural systems that all God's creatures rely on for food and habitat -- including seven billion humans. But we care about God's justice and mercy toward all things, whether or not they fall into our specific "silo" of focus.
That's why I decided to spend a few hours yesterday at the Salvation Army in New York City with Galen Carey of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). We met to pray for the success of a new global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The ATT would establish common binding standards for international weapons transfers. It would stem the flow of illegal weapons and ammunition to warlords, dictators and terrorists. In short, it would help dry up the flow of machine guns and grenade launchers into conflict zones where warlords use them to terrorize and control civilians.
I thought it was great that the NAE -- the main voice of evangelicals in America -- was leading the effort. So imagine my surprise at this lineup participating in the prayer meeting: the World Evangelical Alliance, representing 600 million evangelicals in 129 nations; the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; the Salvation Army; New York Divinity School; and the New York City Intercessors. All joined together to pour out prayer for a treaty to help the most vulnerable in conflict zones.

You might think that such a treaty would be universally supported in America, which already has the world's toughest laws regulating the import and export of weapons. Sadly, it's not. The NRA has turned this into another 2nd Amendment fight, which is an almost incomprehensible argument. So people of goodwill will have to speak up if the countries of the world are going to act to protect the most vulnerable.
For starters, you've got to take two minutes and watch the fabulous little film (above) on the ATT. If you think it's worth an extra moment of your time, then consider reading a bit more on why evangelicals are so strongly supporting it. Finally, remember how easy it is to write your congressional representatives expressing support.
You already care for God's creation. Now take a moment to act on behalf of some of His most vulnerable creatures.
Thanks for your love and concern.

J. Elwood

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