At the Foundation’s 27th Annual Evening for Peace on October 29, 2010, we will honor two outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to building a more peaceful world.
Reverend James Lawson, a proponent of Gandhian nonviolence, was a mentor in nonviolence to Martin Luther King, Jr. When Reverend Lawson speaks of nonviolence, he speaks authoritatively of his experience in one of the most important nonviolent movements of the 20th century, the U.S. civil rights movement.
Professor Glenn Paige is the author of Nonkilling Global Political Science and founder of the Center for Global Nonkilling. He is pioneering in working for a nonkilling world, seeking to make the killing of other human beings a taboo.
The lives of our two honorees, like the lives of so many other individuals, have been affected by war. Reverend Lawson was a conscientious objector during the Korean War, for which he spent time in prison. Professor Paige served as an enlisted man and officer in the Korean War and then wrote a book justifying the war. Later, he would criticize his own book and conclude there was neither justification for killing in that war nor any war. For both men, the experience of war changed the course of their lives and put them on the path of peace.
War not only kills with bullets and bombs. It also kills indirectly by robbing the world’s people of the resources for survival. As President Eisenhower emphasized in his Farewell Address, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
The world is spending more than $1.5 trillion annually on war and its preparation. While it does so, the United Nations struggles to raise the resources to meet its Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and build a global partnership for development.
War and violence are the enemies of humanity. There is a better way forward as shown in the lives of our honorees, nonviolence and nonkilling. Nuclear weapons have made peace an imperative of the Nuclear Age. We must eliminate these weapons, which threaten civilization and the human future, and we must also eliminate war. That is the work of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The support of individuals like you allows us to work each day for a more peaceful and decent world, free of nuclear threat.