Call to Action – VOICES Celebration of the TPNW Coming into Force

Michael Ramos | Church Council of Greater Seattle | January 22, 2021

“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” – Jane Addams, Nobel-laureate


Today, we celebrate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) coming into force. Dedicated, wise, morally-committed, spiritually-grounded people like you have made this day possible. Civil society, public servants, elected officials, diplomats, organizations and peoples from all over – devoted to the elimination of nuclear weapons – have risen up as citizens and residents tied together with a global solidarity that says we belong to one precious, fragile, planet, or we cease to exist all together. TPNW suggests there is an alternative path to the proliferation and threat of nuclear weapons and mutually-assured destruction.


Now we take the next step to act, each in our local context. Like drops of water, each of which joins with the next to turn the mill, doing your part is crucial: to bringing more countries into the treaty, to no hair-trigger alert, to stopping first use, to defunding land-based nuclear missiles, to thwarting the modernization and expansion of nuclear weapons systems, to recognizing the humanity in one another regardless of state of origin and to say that All Lives Are Sacred!


Let our vigil inspire us and spread winds of a profound peace with justice. In our ongoing vigilance for life for our planet, let us:


  1. Be awake, watch, listen, smell, feel, touch – use all our senses to understand with compassion;
  2. Speak the truth of what we know; honor the hibakusha, the Marshallese, the people of Vieques, the downwinders;
  3. Overcome fear with love: our securities are bound up together; we are free from the threat of nuclear annihilation when we all are free;
  4. Confront the idolatry of nuclear weapons; write a new story of cooperation rooted in civil society and reverencing the integrity of creation;
  5. Act boldly with spirit, like our lives depend on it;
  6. Be people of peace; see the intersection of systems of oppression and use our power for their transformation;
  7. Light candles together; embrace community;
  8. Trust that repair of the world is possible and is well under way.


We vigil for the next 7 generations, and the 7 after that. We choose life so that we and our descendants may live. We, who have the capacity to be moved, also have the audacity to act.


We are charged to use our civil power to challenge authorities and policies that place faith in nuclear weapons and to build a bridge across borders that honors human flourishing here and there – friend and foe alike – toward a common global future where nuclear weapons are abolished, indeed the only future possible.


“If not us, then who? If not here, then where? If not now, then when?” The global circle of solidarity is larger than when we began. Let us make the circle ever wider, until the promise of a world without nuclear weapons is realized.


Download a PDF version of this statement here.

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