Springingtiger's Blog

I Am Voting Yes For Peace


I do not think of myself as a Christian because I no longer believe in the doctrines of the Church. However when it comes to my personal conduct and my personal views I lean primarily on the words of Jesus the teacher, prophet and man of peace, they were drummed into me as a child and they continue to guide me. Like Gandhi I find the Sermon on the Mount inspiring; Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
  “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

I don’t believe that anyone can claim to truly follow Jesus if they do not actively pursue and promote peace. Sadly pacifists and opponents of unjust wars and campaigners against nuclear weapons find themselves persecuted and ridiculed, often by alleged Christians who have rejected Jesus’s call for peace.

The campaign for Scottish Independence makes an important stand for peace on two fronts. Firstly we are calling for the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland. As we have seen in the justification for United States of America and United Kingdom’s attack on Iraq, the possession of weapons of mass destruction does not deter attackers, but rather makes one’s country a target. They are an obvious target for terrorists, but whether or not terrorists attack nuclear installations, they do not deter terrorist attacks; they certainly didn’t deter  9/11. Because nuclear installations are so symbolic of military superiority and arrogance, any attack on them would have massive propaganda value which must make them tempting to terrorists. No government with any genuine concern for its people would allow a nuclear site to be placed close to a population centre, yet the Government in Westminster sited Britain’s nuclear submarine base just outside Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city. It is obvious that they consider the West of Scotland to be indispensable, why else would they so vehemently oppose siting them in the Thames or any other English port.

The second stand for peace is the refusal to be dragged into illegal wars, or indeed any war for which we have not voted. The people of Scotland overwhelmingly opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they were ignored and dragged into the wars anyway. I can’t help but remember that when a disciple drew a sword to save Jesus from the soldiers, Jesus’s response was, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword”, it is a clear injunction to reject violence. We should have the right not to engage in war and neither should we have to finance any war we have chosen not to support.

The No campaign has tried to make the Independence referendum about greed and selfishness, but for the supporters of a Yes vote it is primarily about principles and human rights, above all the right to make our own decisions. The No campaign is promising enhanced devolution, if enhanced devolution does not contain, as a minimum, the right of the Scottish Parliament to veto any war agreed by the Westminster Parliament, and the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from Scotland, then it is inadequate and we must reject it and vote YES to independence; no amount of tinkering with our taxes can compensate for not having the freedom to determine our own future.

Jesus says,  “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” and also, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” I see this as a call to integrity and at no time is integrity more important than when the future of a nation and its people is at stake and yet we have seen scurrilous dishonesty on the part of the representatives of the No campaign both in their words and organisation. The behavior of the No campaign has, at least, the benefit of compelling the Yes campaign to back up all its claims with documented sources. Because of the record of the spokesmen for the No campaign we hit a snag, even if the No campaign were to promise to remove weapons of mass destruction, the evidence suggests that we would be stupid to believe them. Scotland has a right to be a peaceful nation and to follow the peaceful teachings of Jesus; No foreign government whether in Westminster or Washington had the right to stand between Scotland and peace, nor to place party policy higher than the words of Jesus which still guide the majority of Scots, believers or no.



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