nuclear weapons


Catastrophe by Mistake: The Button and the Danger of Accidental Nuclear War

by John Whitehead The most likely way for the United States to end up in a nuclear war today is not because of an aggressive nuclear attack by Russia or North Korea or some other nation. Nor is it likely to be because the United States launches such an aggressive attack on another nuclear-armed nation….


The Danger That Faces Us All: Hiroshima and Nagasaki after 75 Years

by John Whitehead The nuclear age turns 75 years old this summer. Over seven decades have now passed since the first test of a nuclear weapon in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, and since the first use of nuclear weapons in wartime, against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (on August 6) and Nagasaki…


“An Inferno That Even the Mind of Dante Could Not Envision”: Martin Luther King on Nuclear Weapons

Compiled by John Whitehead We remember this time of year the life and public ministry of Martin Luther King. Although famous for championing racial and economic justice and nonviolence, an aspect of King’s thought that has received relatively less attention is his opposition to the ultimate tools of violence, nuclear weapons. Historian Vincent Intondi, in…


“Everybody Else in the World Was Dead”: Hiroshima’s Legacy

(compiled by John Whitehead) The American atomic bombing of Hiroshima was 74 years ago today, August 6th. To mark the anniversary, we share stories from bombing survivors, in Japanese hibakusha (“bomb-affected people”). Hibakusha Stories Dr. Michihiko Hachiya was at home that morning, which was “still, warm, and beautiful. Shimmering leaves, reflecting sunlight from a cloudless…


When Linking Abortion with Other Violence Comes Naturally to Pro-lifers

Part 2: Consistency Strengthens the Case Part 1: Connections focuses on how opposing abortion using a broad right-to-life principle strengthens the case against other kinds of violence. Here, we do the reverse, and focus on how opposing other kinds of violence strengthens the case against abortion.    Kathryn Jean Lopez Editor-at-Large, National Review Symposium: Whole…


Nuclear Disarmament as a Social Justice Issue

by John Whitehead Activists seeking to end or radically reduce nuclear weapons’ threat may find it difficult to get public attention. Despite the high stakes involved—the lives of millions and even humanity’s survival—the nuclear threat frequently seems distant and abstract. The danger is future and hypothetical, in contrast to current, actual situations of people dying…


Human Rights & the Right to Life: Reconsidering Conventional Human Rights Activism

by John Whitehead Respecting people’s human rights should go hand in hand with upholding the consistent life ethic. The concept of “human rights” broadly means those conditions that people can legitimately claim as necessary to living a decent human life. Life itself is one of these conditions, and many human rights documents recognize a right…


To Save Humanity: What I Learned at the “Two Minutes to Midnight” Conference

by John Whitehead The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decided earlier this year to adjust the “Doomsday Clock,” the organization’s index of probable nuclear and other dangers facing humanity. Tensions between the United States and nations such as North Korea, Russia, and China, among other factors, prompted the Bulletin to move the Doomsday Clock’s hands…


Breaking Stereotypes in Fearful Times

by John Whitehead Several incidents of terrorism that occurred in the United Kingdom this spring—the suicide bombing of a concert in Manchester, two attacks in London by men using trucks and knives—have understandably received much attention and provoked much horror and outrage. Along with such appropriate responses as sympathy for the victims and their families…


The Reynolds Family, the Nuclear Age and a Brave Wooden Boat

by Jessica Renshaw   Note: This is the text of Jessica’s talk at the June 17, 2017 Ban the Bomb March in Los Angeles. I want to tell you a story—a true, personal story.  (To save time, I’ll just tell you I’m 73!) I was one year old when nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima…