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Opinion: U.S. worships capitalism, nuclear weapons
Nuclear submarine
A statue of an Ohio class nuclear submarine is pictured Nov. 18, 2019, in front of C2F, U.S. Strategic Command's new command and control facility at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. - photo by Associated Press

Years ago, I was in New Jersey visiting family when the Methodist church formally condemned nuclear weapons. It made headlines, in the local papers at least, because the bishops issued the proclamation from the Methodist seminary in Madison. 

For years, I saved a copy of that paper waiting for the message to spread to other denominations. 

When pressed, most Christian churches agree that building nuclear bombs is not what Jesus would do, but little has come of it. 

Then, in 2017, the United Nations adopted a nuclear weapons ban. So far, more than 120 countries have signed on. Now Pope Francis has joined the outcry.

There is simply no way to justify a weapon with the capability of destroying the world as we know it. 

Other religious leaders have joined his holiness, but their voices are drowned out by fear and confusion coming from a source we’ve elevated to a state religion: commercialism. 

Just as communism was the state religion of the Soviet Union, capitalism is the state religion of the United States. And as our state religion, it controls our educational system, our courts and our lawmakers.

We have no better example of how this works than by observing what has happened to seven dedicated Catholic workers who were put on trial in Brunswick for putting the biblical command to “beat swords into plowshares” into action. 

They broke into the Kings Bay Trident nuclear submarine base in April of 2018, beat on the hull of a Trident Sub with a gun they’d melted down and poured their own blood on the deadly weapon.

Instead of being praised for exposing the vulnerability of these horrible creations, they have been tried and convicted for desecrating the state’s sacred symbols of power, a nuclear submarine.

Joan O. King


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