AUGUST 6 is the Feast of the Transfiguration and the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. It is very hard to be confident that there are not worse nuclear agonies, yet to come. The very natural response to agony is torpor; the situation does not bear thinking about. We employ people to think for us. Our apparent indifference spells out for them 'a message: "Protect us at all costs; what happens to others in the process is of small concern." Naturally they plan accordingly, with consequences, as we beleive, likely to he devastating.
The days around August 6 Irom Sunday 3 to the following Sunday afford an excellent opportunity to give more thought to these matters.
We believe that at the deepest level the present crisis is spiritual. We must rouse ourselves before it is too late and find a better message for those to whom we look to defend us. The use of the Prayer of Si Francis, fasting. reading a gospel, talking those matters over with a trusted friend, are all possibilities, and there are others which will occur to readers. We would like to hear Irom anyone who takes up any of these suggestions — a post card for examlhe to the address below with a one phrase indication of any action Laken. We are The Fellowship of Reconciliation, 9 Coombe Road, New Malden. Surrey KT3 4QA.
' HAMIS WALKE (Fellowship of Reconciliation Sr DEIRDRE DCFF1' (Pax Christi), BARBARA DAVIES (Christian CND) I WELCOME the statement by DN Arblaster, July I I "We must raise the torch of truth against the thin veneer of morality which says that we arc justified in silently and sheepishly paying taxes that contribute to the construction of weapons of world genocide."
You have previously noticed in your columns our campaign for the right of individuals to divert the arms proportion of their taxes to a special peacemaking fund, that our money could he used to reach out to the potential "enemy" with practical Christian love, instead of threatening armed retaliation.
We are convinced the proposals we make arc perfectly practicable within the present tax system. If government would make this concession to conscience, a proportion of our income tax could be diverted to a peacemaking fund as cash]) as tuxes paid on "covenanted" subscriptions to charities are now diverted to those charities.
We have to become increasingly aware that the fearful and threatening strength of the military depends on their power to conscript to their service the taxes paid by men of peace. Thus until we reform our tax laws we all share responsibility for arms that threaten the termination of life on God's earth, In your same issue Rita Davis made reference to the now famous speech of Lord Mountbatten, From this speech it is clear the better military men know they hose reached the end of their road. Their laali is in weapons that only a maniac would use and they have no faith in any other way.
The Christian has faith in the power of God's love. Now is the time as never before to assert that faith, and demand that our share of the nation's resources be devoted to Clod's way.
STANLEY KEEBLE Organiser of Peace Tax Campaign. Friends House.
Fusion Rd., NW I 2BJ 1HE propaganda campaign D R Arblaster speaks of not only shows the idea that global war is not so had, it also accepts that such a conflict is inevitable.
As Christians we have a duty to protest. urgently and vociferously. until we have succeeded in averting such a disaster by disarmament.
in our society we have the freedom to protest and campaign against nuclear weapons and war itself. We have, too. the freedom to refuse to participate in war in conscientious objection to military service. However, when it comes to financing the national armoury everyone of us is compelled to contribute towards the purchase of the weapons of destruction.
So while we voice our protest at the immorality of war. we need also to campaign for the right to direct that portion of our taxes used now for defence to a more peaceful and positive area of national expenditure.
MARION KING Frome. Somerset WITH regard to our Government's secrecy over the Aldershot Arms Exhibition. we have a moral right to know what is being done in our name. Are we selling armaments to Governments who use them in repression of justice and human rights? Indeed having sold armaments to any government we are unable to control their resale for misuse — even against ourselves.
There is a good case for the means of death and destruction not being sold at all. At very least we should know to whom we are selling.
DOREEN EVERED Goathurst, Nr Bridgwater