From the Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
On October 13, 2011, twelve years after the U.S. Senate rejected ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), twelve local religious leaders from various faith traditions are sending a letter to Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee urging their support for the ratification of the treaty. These religious leaders join a diverse group of former policy-makers, technical experts, academics and other religious leaders in calling for a world free of nuclear weapons. Ratification of the CTBT is an important step towards this aim and will help curb the development and proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. was the first to sign the CTBT in 1996. The CTBT has now been ratified by Russia and all NATO members except for the U.S. The failure of the U.S. Senate along with other key holdout countries to ratify the treaty means that the CTBT has not yet been entered into force.
Much has changed in the twelve years since the Senate last considered the treaty. The military has acknowledged that there is no need to resume testing in order to maintain the reliability of the nuclear deterrent. In addition, there is now in place an international verification regime that can adequately monitor compliance with the treaty and restrict the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. The CTBT will make permanent the testing moratorium already being observed by the majority of nuclear states and will put added pressure on other states to refrain from nuclear testing.
The twelve signatories noted in their letter to the Senators 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.” Having been entrusted by their various faith communities to address the issues of peace and justice, these twelve religious leaders have asked to meet with the Senators to explore their current concerns regarding the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and to implore the Senators to give their advice and consent to the ratification of the CTBT.
- 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
Contact: Deb Sawyer, Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Spokesperson, at (801) 364-2971 or (801) 718-5470 (cell). The Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (UCAN) was formed in early 2007 to educate and involve Utahns in the effort to help rid the world of nuclear weapons. For more information regarding the mission of the organization, please log onto our web site http://utahcan.org/.