What do we have to show?

by Roger Scott Powers – posted with permission

Thirty years of peacemaking, and what do we have to show for it? A lot, when you think about it!

Thirty years ago, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were locked head-to-head in a nuclear arms race. In response, Presbyterians across the country took seriously Isaiah's call to beat swords into plowshares and got involved in the Nuclear Freeze Campaign. Today, not only has the nuclear arms race been halted, it has been reversed. Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties (SALT) have been replaced by Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START), dramatically reducing nuclear arsenals on both sides.

Thirty years ago, the black majority population of South Africa was oppressed and disenfranchised by the white minority government's policy of apartheid. Presbyterians supported divestment from corporations doing business in South Africa, which helped to put pressure on the South African government, eventually bring an end to the apartheid regime.

These are just two examples.

What others can you think of? How were Presbyterians involved in the Sanctuary Movement, the Central American Solidarity movement or the movement for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland or the effort to move the U.S. to ratify the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women?

Tell us your stories!

Roger Scott Powers is pastor of Light Street Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and co-moderator of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.

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