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Author Topic: Orthodox and Nuclear War/Weapons  (Read 902 times) Average Rating: 0
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collin_nunis
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« on: November 08, 2007, 10:11:01 PM »

What do the Orthodox have to say about Nuclear Wars and Nuclear Weapons? I hope I didn't raise up a sensitive issue here. I'm really curious to know, thats all.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 12:12:00 AM »

What do the Orthodox have to say about the sanctity of human life, the glory of God's creation, and our role as stewards thereof?  Here I think you will find much of what we have to say about the mass destruction wreaked by thermonuclear war.
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 10:30:04 PM »

Orthodox Perspectives on Creation
Report of the WCC Inter-Orthodox Consultation, Sofia, Bulgaria, October 1987 (Extracts)
http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8050.asp

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The environmental crisis
(...) 18. Environmental issues like air and water pollution, depletion of non-renewable resources, destruction of the ozone layer, increasing nuclear radiation, deforestation and desertification of vast areas, etc. threaten the life itself on this planet. The gifts of science and technology are being misused by human beings to the extent of abusing nature and turning today's life on earth into a hell, not only for the many millions of existing people but also for the generations to come.

Encyclical of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the Day of the Protection of Our Natural Environment - September 1
8/31/2006
http://www.goarch.org/en/news/releases/release.asp?id=9649

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The use of atomic and nuclear forces of nature for war is an insult to creation and Creator, as is over-consumption of any kind, which burdens the natural environment with pollutants, which leads to climate change and global warming and an imbalance in the natural order, with all that implies.  The immense consumption of energy for purposes of war and the excessive consumption of contemporary humanity far beyond its needs are two areas where the responsibilities of political leaders and common citizens are interwoven in such a way so that each of us has the power to contribute to the betterment of the general condition.

These are just a couple of references I was able to dig up.  I do remember attending the International Conference on Violence and Christian Spirituality that was held at HC a number of years ago, and I recall Nuclear war being brought up, but I think it was by one of the protestants that was there.  Then again, I don't have my notes with me, so I can't be 100% sure that none of the Orthodox brought it up - they very well may have.
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2007, 11:34:45 PM »

What do the Orthodox have to say about Nuclear Wars and Nuclear Weapons? I hope I didn't raise up a sensitive issue here. I'm really curious to know, thats all.

It's all personal opinion, really. There are no canons or dogmas that directly address that type of warfare as detached from any other kind. The EP and other bishops may give their personal opinion on nuclear weapons, the environmental movement, etc., but that doesn't means it speaks for all of Orthodoxy.

Just my $0.02
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 12:28:45 AM »

It's all personal opinion, really. There are no canons or dogmas that directly address that type of warfare as detached from any other kind. The EP and other bishops may give their personal opinion on nuclear weapons, the environmental movement, etc., but that doesn't means it speaks for all of Orthodoxy.
Yet, there are fundamental dogmatic principles (i.e., the sanctity of human life as bearing the image of our Creator, our God-given calling to be wise stewards of the world God has created, creation as a means of communion with God, etc.) upon which Orthodox Christians can build a very strong quasi-dogmatic opposition to nuclear war.
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collin_nunis
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 02:12:27 AM »

Is there anything in particular coming from the Middle East by Patriarch Ignatius IV?

By the way, the resources given have been more than helpful. I've started reading.
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 06:22:26 PM »

Once you have embarked upon killing, does how you do it really matter?  Vaporizing a person in milliseconds, gassing them to death, shooting them, blowing them up, it is all evil.  My view has always been to avoid violence.  However, when violence finds me, I prefer to get the job done as fast as possible with the minimum of impact to myself or my loved ones.  If nuclear weapons provide me with that option, then so be it.  Death by radiation is terrible.  But then again, I have seen death by cancer and don't see nature as any more humane than man.  War will always be a cruel and evil undertaking.
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