Resolution Number: C001

Subject: Rejection of War as a Means of Resolving Conflict

Moved By: Phyllis Creighton

Seconded By: Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert, SSJD of the Diocese of Toronto

Note: The mover and the seconder must be members of the General Synod and be present in the House when the resolution is before the synod for debate.


That this General Synod reject war as a means of resolving conflict, and call on Anglicans at all levels in Canada to:

Past General Synods have denounced and sought to limit war. General Synod 2001 Act 24, in reaffirming support for the WCC’s Ecumenical Decade to Overcome Violence, agreed to “promote a culture of non-violence . . . that rejects violence as a means of solving problems.” Hopes that the 21st century would break the cruel chain of 20th century warring were quickly betrayed. Wars launched by the United States on Afghanistan and then Iraq after the tragedy of 9/11 (11 Sept. 2001) rained down on civilians more horrific weapons, notably cluster bombs (CB) and depleted uranium (DU) reinforced munitions. More toxic lethal particles have been added to the legacy in Iraq from the Gulf War and contaminate Afghanistan, in all likelihood adding to the ongoing toll of cancer, leukemia, genetic defects, and death already also seen in Yugoslavia and Kosovo. The nuclear powers, turning away from their unequivocal commitment in 2000 to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, seek renewed nuclear weapons development, spurred by the United States, which is bent on new, smaller, more useable nuclear weapons, including the min-bunker buster. The new U.S. policy of pre-emptive/ preventive war and its announced goal of global dominance through space weaponization make plain that it will wield force as the new norm of international relations. With the world moving on the track of death, Earth is groaning from the pollution of war and militarism, as well as from consumerism and the gap between rich and poor. Earth’s plight, gross social and economic injustice, the crisis of poverty, and intolerable unmet human needs worldwide: all call us to take strong steps to reject war and redirect our efforts towards rebuilding peace, mending the ills of society, and renewing Earth. The Gospel call to “love your enemy” and to seek justice and reconciliation must shape our vision. The mounting worldwide protest against war, seen in the millions who protested in the streets on 15 Feb. 2003, fuels new hope. “If we are determined, we have the capacity to end war,” Nobelist Archbishop Desmond Tutu insists. This motion seeks to move that vision forward. Peace is a human right. It is the destiny God seeks for Earth and humanity reshaped in the image of Christ.


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