A Different New Year's Eve

There are times in our lives when the power of God’s love breaks through our brokenness and moves us to take action. The Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) is an interfaith organization that for many years has organized protests and nonviolent direct action at the Nevada nuclear test site, 90 miles from Las Vegas. At a NDE board meeting last year, one person brought a leaflet signed by 14 Nobel Peace Laureates calling for a year of nonviolence to bring in the new millennium as a millennium of peace. There was a sense of being part of a larger movement inspired by the Spirit inviting us to make nonviolence a priority as the year 2000 approaches.

The Nevada Desert Experience is now extending an invitation for people of faith to come and join "Millennium 2000: Walking the Ways of Peace," welcoming the new millennium at the test site, the most-often bombed place on the planet. As Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara once said there, "This is the site of the greatest violence on earth. It should be the site of the greatest nonviolence."

Many people are not aware that Congress just passed the largest military budget since the end of the Cold War. Billions of dollars are allocated for research and development of nuclear weapons. Despite the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty passed in 1996, the country continues research under the guise of the "Stockpile Stewardship Program." Five "sub-critical" tests have been conducted at the Nevada test site since President Clinton signed the treaty. India and Pakistan used this continued research to justify their tests last year. At Lawrence Livermore Labs in California, scientists and engineers are working on fusion technology and other means to miniaturize nuclear weapons, which would allow the possibility for even more rapid spread of these implements of mass destruction.

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1999
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