Utah Religious Leaders Support the CTBT
A group of religious leaders in Utah, including Salt Lake City Monthly Meeting, have called on Utah Senators Hatch and Lee to support the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The CTBT would ban testing of nuclear weapons above and below ground. The treaty was signed by the U.S. in 1996 but the Senate failed to ratify the treaty in 1999. The U.S is one of less than a dozen countries, including countries such as Pakistan and Iran, that has yet to ratify the treaty.
See the letter below:
Aug. 15, 2011
Dear Senator Hatch/Lee:
As religious leaders in Utah, we have been entrusted by our various faith communities to address the issues of peace and justice. For this reason, we have joined together in urging your support for the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Our denominations join a diverse group of former policy-makers, technical experts, academics and other religious leaders in calling for a world free of nuclear weapons. We believe that ratification and entry into force of the CTBT is one important step in curbing the development and proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction. Most importantly, we believe that the United States has a moral responsibility to ensure that humanity and God’s creation are made safe from the terrible specter of nuclear weapons.
Sixty years ago, on January 27, 1951, the Nevada Test Site went into operation by exploding an atomic bomb. Nuclear testing resulted in a terrifying arms race as well as having a devastating effect on the environment and those exposed to the radioactive fallout, especially here in Utah.
In 1992, a U.S. moratorium on nuclear weapons testing was initiated which remains in force today. In 1996, the U.S. became one of the early signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The CTBT has now been ratified by Russia and all NATO members except for the U.S.
In 1999, the Senate considered the CTBT, but withheld its support. We believe that the initial concerns expressed by the Senate have all been addressed. There is no military justification for resuming U.S. testing, and the United States does not need to test in order to maintain the reliability of its nuclear deterrent. The international verification regime has the ability to adequately monitor compliance with the treaty and to restrict further proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. The treaty will make permanent the moratorium already being observed by the majority of nuclear states and obligate other states to refrain from nuclear testing.
Given all the dramatic changes in the world since the Senate last considered the CTBT, we are interested in knowing what your current concerns regarding this treaty might be. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your position on the treaty and earnestly implore you to give your advice and consent to the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Most Rev. John C. Wester, Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City
Rt. Rev. Scott Hayashi, Episcopal Bishop of Utah
Dr. Iqbal Hossain, President, Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake
Rev. Erin Gilmore, Pastor , Holladay United Church of Christ
Rev. Eun-sang Lee, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City
Rev. Dr. France Davis, Pastor, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc
Rev. Thomas Goldsmith, Minister, First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City
Randolph Holladay, Clerk, Salt Lake Monthly Meeting of Friends
Rev. Marian Edmonds, Pastor, Cathedral of Hope Salt Lake City
Rev. Steve Klemz, Pastor, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Rev. Scott Dalgarno, Pastor, Wasatch Presbyterian Church
Rev. David Nichols, Pastor, Mount Tabor Lutheran Church