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St Matthew-in-the-City honours ANZAC Ploughshares

5 May, 2008


St Matthew-in-the-City honours ANZAC Ploughshares

Last Wednesday three Christians were arrested for breaking into the military facility at Waihopai, New Zealand. With sickles they punctured a balloon that covered intelligence-gathering equipment. They then knelt down to pray for all victims of war.

Friday’s New Zealand Herald editorial reduces this act to being “pointless vandalism” that “warrants only scorn”. St Matthew-in-the-City strongly disagrees and honours all who protest for peace and justice.

Peter Murnane, Adrian Leason and Sam Land are part of the international Christian Ploughshares network that has been protesting in similar ways since 1980. It was this group who tried to convert a nuclear warhead into a ploughshare, and who poured blood on a B52 bomber.

“The ANZAC Ploughshares have punctured the illusion that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with us,” says Archdeacon Glynn Cardy. “There is no doubt that the facility at Waihopai aids the American military, just as there is no doubt that many have and are suffering due to the continuing occupation of Iraq.”

Former Human Rights Commissioner and member of St Matthew’s, Margaret Bedggood, adds, “Jesus was hardly law abiding. Causing a certain amount of furor in the cause of peace is hardly pointless. The cost to patch a balloon concealing our co-operation with those waging war is dear, but so are the lives Ploughshares seeks to save. Heightening consciousness and emboldening others to seek peace has a price.”

Christians have a long history of taking direct, non-violent action against war. The preservation of all human life is fundamental to our beliefs. Professor Bedggood concludes, “While it is an inconvenient truth to remember, war, and all that aids it, is anathema to our faith.”


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