By Alan Storkey
Amazingly few Christians see their faith as transforming world politics. Any thorough biblical reading has to see God is bringing down empires of conquest, violence and slavery.
The Gospel is to spread to every tribe and nation, ruling out conquest, establishing peace and the rule of God’s gentle law. It rules out the human domination of other humans and spreads through the personal acceptance of faith in God and obedience to Christ.
Some two billion Christians, people of every race and nation, are now followers of the Christ, called to live his way publicly and in deeper loyalty than to any man-made source of power, for, as we pray to God daily, “Yours is the power…”, ruling out the accumulation of power over others.
Though this is the biblical and Christian truth, it is constantly outshouted by human powers talking militarism, defence, domination and subjection. In this situation there is the United Nations straddling the peaceful and warring nations of the world and it is time for two billion Christians to re-inspire a reformed United Nations.
The United Nations was formed in 1945 after the catastrophe of the Second World War. It stood against the fascist control represented by the Nazi, Italian and Japanese powers and for a largely Christian vision for peace among nations formed by Roosevelt, Wallace and European Christian Democrats.
The United States formed it, when it constituted half the world’s monetised economy. The headquarters were sited in New York, and for many decades the United States largely funded it. Though there were strong Christian commitments in the US, it also contained a number of Fascist and capitalist figures who wanted a war with the USSR both real and ideological.
They gained ascendency with Truman and aided by Stalin’s repressive politics, nuclear tests and Churchill’s hatred of the USSR reflected in his Iron Curtain speech, the Cold War froze much of the development of the United Nations.
The US largely ran the United Nations with its supporters. Eisenhower backed the UN against Britain in the Suez Crisis, but Allen Dulles at the CIA and John Foster Dulles at the State Department continued a range of Cold War aggressions that were matched by the USSR.
They included the obviously illegal Bay of Pigs invasion, and the subsequent Cuba crisis was a superpower event, marginalising the United Nations.
Even after the end of the Cold War in 1990, when the United Nations should have moved into a strong worldwide position reflecting world democratic politics, the US continued in its superpower role, enhancing its dominance to keep a vast military-industrial complex in place and dictating world policy.
In this century the United States has careered on in its own political and military imperialism. The invasion of Iraq by George W Bush and his military establishment, with Blair and the UK as a supporting poodle was illegal, based on a lie, undertaken against an already disarmed regime, and in opposition to United Nations principles and law. It was an insult to the UN by a superpower and its poodle and undermined its authority.
It also created a series of ungovernable states in the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Yemen and others, and unleashed Shi’ite/Sunni hostilities through its arms trading in the area.
The US and NATO, with their militarism, more or less invited Russia to resume the Cold War, showing that the old Cold War was not really about ideology, but about military establishments keeping their show on the road with vast US Federal Budget support.
This policy in the US, long copied by the UK, France, and now by Russia and China has created a vast number of arms client states throughout the world and enough insipient conflicts to keep arms production on the boil.
The world has become a militarist and distrusting place in which wars and rumours of wars abound. Millions are killed and injured, trillions are wasted on the military and arms, cities and territories are destroyed, some 60 million refugees made homeless and some 10 per cent is added to world CO2 to keep these military establishments going.
They control the UN. The permanent members of the Security Council are qualified by being the biggest military powers on the planet – the US, UK, Russia, France, China. They make sure militarism is never challenged. The recent strong UN Assembly backing for disarmament was easily dismissed.
The UN, Disarmament and Peace need rescuing. Really, they have vast world support as policies. Most people can see war and bombs are mad in our interdependent world and hope for the gospel of peace.
The time has come for the worldwide Christian community of two billion to overthrow this military hegemony. It can be done by social media mass democracy and churches who wake from their conformist slumber and change the world.
Peacemaking is not only good and blessed by God. It is also far easier than war and militarism, and waiting on us.