by Art Laffin
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
(from NCR) – In this holy Advent season, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus our savior, who commands his followers to put away the sword, love one another, renounce killing and be nonviolent peacemakers, the U.S. Congress recently passed a bill that prepares the way for more suffering, death and destruction.
On Dec. 15, the Senate passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that authorizes $768 billion for military spending, including about $28 billion to fund the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs. This was a $25 billion increase over President Joe Biden’s defense budget request for 2022 and, according to Democracy Now, is the largest military spending bill since World War II.
In an earlier Dec. 7 vote, the House of Representatives approved the act by 364-70, with only 51 Democrats and 19 Republicans voting against it. Biden is now expected to sign the measure in the coming days.
In this time of pandemic and peril, when the ranks of the poor and homeless are increasing; when there are an estimated 140 million poor and low-income Americans, according to the new Poor People’s Campaign; when basic human services to meet urgent human needs are being cut; when inadequate measures are being taken to halt the climate crisis; when millions of people worldwide lack the basic necessities of life and, as a result, die prematurely, this exorbitant military spending is an abomination — an affront to God and a colossal crime against the poor…