(Photo by Rev. Paul Dordal)
By Nancy O’Leary
As a Peace Action, D.C, affiliate, we continue to work and lobby against nuclear proliferation. At the local county fairs, we developed a petition letter to Senator Bob Casey opposing the budget proposition to revamp the present nuclear warheads making these weapons more strategic and easier to use at a cost of $1 trillion. The issues and dangers of the continued development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction cannot be understated. We already have enough weapons to destroy the earth twice over.
Thus, we, at Beaver County Peace Links, are pleased to join and support the SBTB initiative. This effort shines a light on the issue of financial institutions (PNC and other banking entities) investing our money in companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear and weapons of mass destruction and weapons parts for profit. As bank customers, we are unwittingly helping to finance the nuclear weapons industry.
Those of us at Peace Links believe that the issue of nuclear proliferation and the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction is not only a real and present danger but it is also a moral issue as well. In November, Pope Francis condemned the “threat of their use” and including “possession” stating that “international relations cannot be held captive to military force, intimidation and parading of stockpiles of arms.” We must not become complicit by helping to finance the manufacture of these weapons through our banking institutions. As people of faith and justice, we are morally mandated to oppose the manufacturing and stockpiling of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
Beaver County Peace Links members have been joining the local actions of SBTB in front of various PNC buildings and branch offices in Western Pennsylvania to bring attention to the problem. Recently, we held an event at a PNC branch in Beaver County. Our experience at each of the PNC locations was that (1) people were unaware that their money was being used to help fund the weapons industry, (2) they appreciated being informed by our efforts, and (3) they were willing to consider moving their money.
When we join together in this effort, we are stronger. We are on the right side of history and morality, and we will win.
Captain Nancy O’Leary, CA, is President of Beaver County Peace Links.