Tag: Catholicism

A Theology Of Catholic Action

What is the relationship between Catholic belief and action in regards to nuclear weapons?

First, please understand that I am not a theologian, priest, spokesman for the Catholic Church, or any kind of expert on anything. To some definitions, I may not even be Catholic. This article does not seek to define Catholicism for anybody else, it only shares my own view.

The Apostle John may have expressed the Catholic perspective most concisely when he said….

God is love.

Three simple words, which could perhaps be all any serious person really needs?

God is love.

Love is an act of surrender.

Love is an action.

God is love. And love is action. Therefore God is an action.

To put it another way…

The most credible expression of our beliefs is not what we think or say, but what we do.

From this perspective, the implications for our relationship with nuclear weapons seems clear.

From this perspective, proclaiming that we oppose nuclear weapons because they are immoral is just barely a beginning.

The real question is, what are we going to do about it? How will we make our beliefs credible by taking the leap from the talking of the talk to the walking of the walk?

If God is love, and love is action…

What action will we take?

I believe the Pope’s recent speech on nuclear weapons illustrates a challenge facing the Catholic community at large on this subject, including this typist.

As you read his speech, note how the Pope’s moral clarity is sharp and right on target, but there is no call to any specific bold practical real world action. We are not asked to do anything but pray.

I’m not dismissing the power of prayer, but doesn’t it seem likely that God is most likely to help those who are already attempting to help themselves? Isn’t God’s first response to our prayer likely to be…

“Ok, but what are you already doing about this? What action have you taken?”

From the perspective of this article, Catholic doctrine on nuclear weapons becomes most credible and powerful when it is connected directly to practical real world action.

A great example of this is Catholic Charities, the 2nd leading provider of social services to the needy in the United States, topped only by the federal government. What an impressive and entirely credible statement of Catholic philosophy!

Catholic Charities is a great example of moral theory being translated in to big bold practical real world action.

I believe that a similar powerful connection between Catholic theory and action can be accomplished on a large scale in the nuclear weapons arena.

Catholics could save the world by connecting their theory to action in the form of a billion dollar a year marketing fund for amplifying the Pope’s teachings on nuclear weapons.

If we are going to do the talking of the talk on nuclear weapons, let us do so on the very largest scale that we are capable of.

The philosophy is there. A Church structure which ties a billion Catholics together is there. A billion Catholics can clearly raise a billion dollars, so the money is there too.

All that’s left is establishing a connection between the philosophy, the structure and the money. All that’s left is the conversion of the talking of the talk in to the walking of the walk.

God is love.

Love is action.

God is action.

God is what we do.

Catholics Could Save The World

In November 2019 the Pope visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan and gave a speech declaring the possession of nuclear weapons to be immoral.

This article attempts to sketch out a plan by which Catholics could take decisive action in response to to the Pope’s concerns about nuclear weapons.

Please Note: While this article uses the Catholic community as an example, the following ideas could be put to use by any organization which wishes to help rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The Plan

What if every Catholic pledged a recurring donation of $1 per year to fund a global marketing campaign to amplify the Pope’s teachings regarding nuclear weapons?

The Budget

There are reported to be a billion Catholics worldwide, so at $1 per person per year, the target budget for this marketing campaign against nuclear weapons could be one billion dollars per year.

Some Catholics would of course contribute more and others less (many Catholics live in the third world), but the overall goal for the campaign should be a billion dollars yearly, an ambitious goal clearly within reach of the Catholic community overall.

Catholics have the philosophy of peace, and the required funds. All that’s left is to put the two together.

One billion Catholics. One billion dollars.

Catholics could save the world.

They really could. Seriously.

The Money

All funds donated would go directly to the Vatican. Catholics would not be asked to send money to some outside group that they may not have heard of. Instead, all funds raised would remain with their own community to be managed by their own leadership as part of their own message.

The Mechanism

Automated payments of $1 per year can be handled by PayPal. The contributor clicks a few buttons one time, and that’s all the work they ever need to do.

One minute, one time. One dollar a year. Each contributor is helping to save the world, for close to nothing.

The Message

The marketing campaign would address the existential threat to humanity presented by nuclear weapons from the Catholic perspective as defined by the Pope.

The Marketing Campaign

One of the realities of the modern world is that a well funded marketing campaign is typically necessary for the selling of anything, whether it be shoes, cars, laptops or Presidential candidates.

This is no different. If Catholics wish to play a leading role in saving humanity from nuclear weapons, a well funded marketing campaign will be required.

Moral theory alone won’t get the job done.

Yes, the Pope is famous, and most of his speeches are well covered by the media. But as the leader of a major world religion the Pope has a great many things on his plate and can’t give a speech on nuclear weapons every day.

But a billion dollar marketing campaign can share the Pope’s message on nuclear weapons every day.

Getting Your Campaign Off The Ground

Getting a marketing campaign off the ground could be tricky for some groups, as the budget for the campaign might not exist until you have contributors. Could this help?

Imagine that you plan to reinvest all the money you raise in to more ads, so that you can get even more supporters. In such a case, for some period of time all the money you raise would be going to Facebook, Google, or where ever you decide to buy your ads.

Why not ask the advertiser to help you get the campaign going by running some free ads for you? Maybe you sign a contract which stipulates all funds raised for one year will be spent with the advertiser? Maybe you can make the advertiser in to a partner? If one says no, well, there are LOTS of companies out there that want your ad dollars. Somebody will work with you.

The Concept

From the activist perspective, the concept being offered here goes like this…

Instead of asking any group (Catholics in this case) to support a nuclear weapons activist organization, the group in question is called upon to become a nuclear weapons activist organization.

As example, a billion Catholics working together through an ambitious plan of action have more power than all the nuclear weapons groups put together.

Each group is urged to make the case against nuclear weapons from their own perspective, using their own funds, under the management of their own leadership. Nothing new to join.

What If You’re Not Catholic?

I’ve used Catholics as the example here as that is faith tradition I am most familiar with, it’s a large congregation, and the Pope is a very well known figure that is easy to reference.

If you’re not Catholic, or if you oppose Catholicism, then just forget about the Catholic example used here and apply the principles shared above to your own organization.

Get your own people together. Raise some money. Run some ads against nuclear weapons on Facebook or where ever you can.

Explain your opposition to nuclear weapons in your own way, from your own perspective.

Anything you do to insert the subject of nuclear weapons in to the public discourse is helping to save the world.