The Senate has a moral imperative to ratify New START

New START is the successor to President Reagan’s original START treaty, which expired in December 2009. The first START treaty was a historic step in calling a halt to the arms race and giving the U.S. the ability to inspect Russia’s nuclear weapons. Now, for the first time in 15 years, those weapons are going unmonitored and the danger that they could fall into the hands of those bent on terror increases every day. New START is essential to putting U.S. inspectors back on the ground and, according to the Bush appointed head of the Missile Defense Agency, enhances our ability to modernize and improve our existing weapons and missile defense systems.

The treaty has the support of virtually every living Secretary of State and Defense, including Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and James Baker. 

No one of good will wants to see the devastation - the loss of life, the destruction of creation, the political and economic fallout – that would occur if a nuclear bomb were to go off on American soil or anywhere. As Christians, we live in the tension between working toward the time in which “nation will not take up sword against nation” and confronting the realities of a fallen world. We wrestle with the Apostle’s conviction that the state “does not bear the sword in vain” and our call to be peacemakers. 

And though this tension can often lead us to divergent stances on war and peace, it is a source of strength as we are able to be neither blindly idealistic nor fatally nihilistic. From this perspective, the measures in New START toward the containment and security of nuclear weapons are vital to our peace and security.

We understand all too well the nature of those bent on evil. And as a nation we cannot ignore threats to our security. This is why we must work together with fellow nations to ensure that we minimize the threat to life posed by nuclear weapons. Our faith teaches us that we are always stronger when we are in relationship, that a threefold cord is not easily broken. A strategy of strengthening relationships with nuclear states is not naïve. We must work with those states to build trust, while having the ability to verify the security of nuclear devices and systems.

Along with the Psalmist, we pray that God will, “deliver us from evildoers; protect us from those who are violent.” But in addition to prayer, we must take action to ensure the peace and security of all God’s children. If we are to be protected from those who seek only to destroy, we must pass New START now.

Reverend Rob Bell

Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.

The United Methodist Church, Nevada and Northern California

Reverend Tony Campolo

Professor Emeritus, Eastern University

Dr. Paul Corts

President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Andy Crouch

Senior Editor, Christianity Today International

Reverend Dr. Rich Cizik

President, New Evangelical Project

Reverend Wes Granberg-Michaelson

General Secretary, Reformed Church in America

Dr. David P. Gushee

Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University

Reverend Joel Hunter

Senior Pastor, Northland Church

Lynne Hybels

Advocate for Global Engagement

Reverend Brian McLaren

Author, Speaker

Reverend Rich Nathan

Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church of Columbus

David Neff

Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

Reverend Ron Sider

President, Evangelicals for Social Action

Chaplain (Colonel) Paul Vicalvi

Executive Director, National Association of Evangelical Chaplains Commission

Reverend Jim Wallis

Founder and President, Sojourners

Reverend Sharon Watkins

General Minister and President, Disciples of Christ

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster

The United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C.

President, The Council of Bishops

Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker

Florida Area of the United Methodist Church

Rt. Rev. William E. Swing

Former Episcopal Bishop of California

Bishop (Retired) Kenneth L. Carder

Professor, Duke Divinity School

Reverend Jim Winkler

General Secretary, United Methodist General Board of Church & Society

Rt. Reverend Dan Edwards

10th Episcopal Bishop of Nevada

Reverend Tyler Wigg-Stevenson

Director, Two Futures Project

Reverend Dr. Randall Balmer

Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Reverend Jen Butler

Executive Director, Faith in Public Life

Peter Greer

President, Hope International

Noel Castellanos

CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Reverend Eugene Cho

Lead Pastor, Quest Church

Dr. David Dault

Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies, Christian Brothers University

Reverend Camille D. Pentsil

Senior Pastor, Zion United Methodist Church

Vice President, Las Vegas Valley Interfaith Sponsoring Committee

Reverend Kelcey A. West

Founder, Nehemiah Ministries Christian Church, Las Vegas, NV

Dr. Welton T. Smith

Senior Pastor, Greater Evergreen Baptist Church, Las Vegas, NV

Reverend Dr. Ian Doescher

Pastor, Calvary Presbyterian Church

Ryan Fasani

Executive Director, East Nashville Cooperative Ministry

Deborah Fikes

Executive Advisor, World Evangelical Alliance

Timothy W. Floyd

Director, Law and Public Service Program

Reverend Adam Hamilton

Senior Pastor, UMC Church of the Resurrection

Reverend Greg Harris

President, Apostolic Initiative

Dr. Rick Hendrix

Christian Music Executive, Tennessee

Brent Hutchinson

Community Life Pastor, Rolling Hills Community Church

Dr. Douglas Johnston

President, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy

David Jones

President, Strive

Reverend Richard L. Killmer

Executive Director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Reverend Dixon Kinser

Associate Rector, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church

Reverend Jennifer Kottler

Director of Policy and Advocacy, Sojourners

Reverend John B. Lindner

Director of External Relations, Yale Divinity School

Greg H Parsons

Global Director, U.S. Center for World Missions

Reverend Alan Sherouse

Pastor, Metro Baptist Church

Reverend Steven D. Martin

Executive Director, New Evangelical Project

Father Thomas Reese

Georgetown University

Melissa Rogers

Director, Center for Religion of Public Affairs, Wake Forrest University

Eric Sapp

Executive Director, American Values Network

Dr. Glen Stassen

Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics

Burns Strider

President, American Values Network

Dr. Noah Toly

Dir of Urban Studies and Asst Professor for Politics and Intern’l Relations, Wheaton College

Reverend Corey J. Widmer

Associate Pastor, Third Presbyterian Church

Co-Pastor, East End Fellowship