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Eighty-one Christian scholars from across the U.S. are united in the “commitment to human flourishing and ecological care as well as the cultivation of a sustainable just peace.” These scholars represent various Christian communities as well as a diversity of perspectives on issues of war and peacemaking. 

In light of the shared commitment, they issued a profound statement to express “strong opposition to the current sky-high Pentagon budget and recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) top-line of $768 billion. We urge Congress to reduce Pentagon spending in the appropriations bills for FY 2022 and set a trajectory of practical reductions in this area, as well as reductions in nuclear weapons.” In the NDAA, Congress authorized an extra $25 billion for the Pentagon beyond President Biden’s request.

The scholars point out that “we are struggling to end a deadly pandemic, deal with the looming climate crisis, confront racial injustice, prevent violence in our own streets, secure badly-needed relief for working people all over the country, address mental health challenges, and care for those living in poverty.” 

In turn, oriented by the vision of a just peace they argue that “we urgently need to shift our security and foreign policy strategy to focus on a policy framework of 1) cultivating the habits and skills of constructive conflict, 2) breaking cycles of violence, and 3) building a more sustainable peace. These 3 strategic foci draw us to invest in peacebuilding, nonviolent resistance movements, diplomacy, and development programs.”

As congress debates an appropriations package for FY 2022, the signees call for a first step “to redirect the extra $25 billion toward accounts like the Complex Crisis Fund, Prevention and Stabilization Fund, UN Peacebuilding Fund, as well as the U.S. Institute of Peace and Unarmed Civilian Protection programs.” 

Read the statement here.

3 thoughts on “Eighty-one Christian scholars call for reductions in military spending

  1. This is an important statement and I am grateful to the authors for crafting it and Pax Christi for sharing it. I believe it would have been stronger had the authors acknowledged the extent of fossil fuel use by the US military and the fact that nothing we can do to mitigate environmental desecration is as important as curtailing the use of fossil fuels by the military. The US military is the largest consumer in the world, consuming more than any country including the USA (if one sequesters military vs. domestic consumption). Climate change mitigation and global equity cannot be reached until and unless military consumption is brought under control.

  2. Military Spending is a symptom of foreign policy and an economy that prospers from the appetite of the military industrial complex.
    Our foreign policy sees labor and material resource of the world as benefits to the United States. Obstructions to access is considered hostility. If efforts to resolve international differences by diplomacy fail the jackals are summoned and if that fails the military are called out.
    The resources of the world and profits derived therefrom are the foundations of our foreign policy and our military industrial complex.
    Fundamental changes need to be made to the bedrock of our national creed. Peace, Justice and non violence need to replace corporate greed. They need to be the bedrock of our foreign policy. The military needs to become an international rescue force responding to the onslaught of Climate Change. Christianity needs to work harder to influence the peaceful pursuits of all Americans and of our leadership especially. Many of or leaders in government ,foreign policy and the military are graduates of top flight Catholic institutions of learning.
    At times one might ask, “What have they learned ?”.

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