The Profligate Grace team is delighted to bring you this report from our London correspondent, Angela, and her friends in the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Christianity Uncut. Read on for an improbable (but true) account of their act of witness outside the recent Leadership Conference sponsored by a very, very prominent evangelical Anglican parish.
Christian CND first heard that Holy Trinity Brompton Church was hosting the CEO of Serco at their Leadership Conference via Twitter. Serco is part of a consortium that manage and run the day to day operations of Britain’s nuclear weapons programme. It was one of three companies to sign a contract with the UK government to run the nuclear project for 25 years from the year 2000. That Serco have a huge stake in seeing Trident (the UK’s nuclear weapon’s project) renewed is not in doubt. At first, Christian CND assumed that Holy Trinity Brompton had not realised that Serco managed the UK’s nuclear weapons. Many people in the UK would more typically associate Serco with immigration removal centres, prisons and prison transport. However, we were alarmed to discover that the HTB Leadership Conference website stated “[Serco] take care of the nuclear arsenal for Britain”. Upon realising that the church was in full knowledge of this information about Serco, we watched Chris Hyman’s profile video.During the video, Mr Hyman asserted, “ultimately…the most challenging job we have is giving hope to people and to making sure business is done the right way”. We failed to understand how nuclear weapons “give hope”. Indeed, Christian CND were pleased to observe that in 2007 the Church of England passed a resolution at General Synod stating “the proposed upgrading of Trident is contrary to the spirit of the United Kingdom’s obligations in international law and the ethical principles underpinning them.”. As a company, Serco have previously been found to act in ways that might be described as morally dubious. (Check out Christmas Island detention Centre for some of their more luxurious accommodation.) Read more
While making cupcakes and washing dishes, I have listened to my little kitchen radio chase down stories like this (on the factory collapse in Bangladesh), and, today, more of the same – this time from Cambodia.
We’re proud to host this report by Patrick O’Neill, whose writing appears in the National Catholic Reporter, the Independent Weekly, and the Raleigh News and Observer, among other places. Patrick and his wife, Mary Rider, are co-founders of Garner’s Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House, an intentional Christian community that provides hospitality for men, women and children in crisis. They have 8 children.
NOTE — During a Thursday morning hearing to decide if Michael, Greg and Sr. Megan would get released pending their Sept. 23 sentencing, the judge, a George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench, was clearly struggling with his decision because it appeared that he might have “no choice” but to remand them to custody because the U.S. Attorney told him a congressional law might require him to do so because the three were found guilty of sabotage — an “act of violence” against the United States. “It is preposterous that Congress would pass a law that would not distinguish between peace protestors and terrorists,” the judge said — and off to jail they went. Read more
This blog is for out-of-the-box Christians and other curious people. Profligate Grace is meant to be a catalyst for incarnate, face-to-face solidarity and community organizing, rather than a substitute. I am typing in trust (often with thumbs) that the internet can be a blessing as well as a challenge. Inspired by brave women from Egypt to Tunisia to Arizona, I am also typing with hope that courage is contagious, and that your little screen connecting to my little screen helps you to be brave in your own beautiful, creative corner of the world.