State of the World

The seven Kings Bay Plowshares nuclear disarmament activists Credit: Kings Bay Plowshares (link below)

As a parent of eight children and two new grandchildren, I cannot help but lament the state of the world that will be my legacy to them.

Global warming resulting in cataclysmic climate change could make many parts of the world uninhabitable. Also, the United States is leading a nuclear arms race that is expanding at a time when nations should be working to abolish weapons of mass destruction and looking for nonviolent alternatives to war.

The state of the world led to my decision to join six other Catholic pacifists in a 2018 protest at Naval Station Kings Bay, in St. Marys, Georgia. Kings Bay is a home port to six nuclear armed Trident submarines. Each Trident can carry 24 D-5 missiles, each of which can carry up to eight 100-kiloton nuclear warheads (about 30 times the explosive force of the Hiroshima bomb). Trident is the most insidious and evil weapon of mass destruction
ever constructed.

Calling ourselves The Kings Bay Ploughshares, we chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to highlight what King called the “triple evils of militarism, racism and materialism.” Once inside Kings Bay we used blood, hammers, and crime scene tape to expose the base for its role in activities that could lead to the end of the world as we know it.

Our federal felony trial is pending.

We must work to assure a peaceful future for generations to come. But that will not be the case unless the global human family turns away from killing and war. Instead, I believe God, who is Love, calls us to be peacemakers and lovers of one another.

The reason the seven of us opted to use high drama at Kings Bay was an attempt to wake people up to the peril we face as a human family. We are all in terrible danger from the weapons of mass destruction all over the world that can be deployed at any moment.

After 73 years living under a nuclear cloud, humans have come to see our nuclear armed world as “normal.” We must dispel this dangerous conclusion.

Patrick O’Neill lives in North Carolina and is a co-defendant with Martha Hennessy.

Image credit: “The seven Kings Bay Plowshares nuclear disarmament activists,” Kings Bay Ploughshares, 2019.

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Issue 53

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 53, Summer 2019, Mothering.

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Issue 53, Summer 2019

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