Resolutions Passed by The Church Peace Union [now Carnegie Council], at its First Meeting, February 10th, 1914
From our Archives: 100 for 100
February 10, 1914
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RESOLVED THAT WE, the members of The Church Peace Union, and one or other of the following religious bodies: Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Congregational, Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Unitarian, Jewish, Universalist, and Friends, as our first duty appeal to the Rulers, Statesmen, and people of all civilized lands to give their immediate, earnest, and prayerful attention to the lamentable facts here presented, hoping they will realize it as their first duty to provide the remedy which seems open before them through a union of several powers pledged to co-operate in abolishing savage war and establishing the reign of peace through arbitration of international disputes: that as citizens must appeal to the tribunals of the law to redress their wrongs, so shall nations.
Here, as it appears to us, lie the two outstanding evils of our day, entailing grave responsibilities upon all religious men from Emperor to workman, that the crime of men killing each other may soon be banished from the face of the earth.
FIRST: The combined debt of the world, mostly borrowed and used for war purposes, amounts to nearly $37,000,000,000. The interest charge of the world on its national bonded debt amounts to $1,500,000,000. The amount expended yearly on standing armies and battleships is $3,500,000,000. If the entire property of the United States were to be sold, and the returns capitalized and put at interest at four per cent, it would just about keep up the military and naval forces of the world in time of peace. Our own country, the United States, spends on Army and Navy $800,000 per day.
The so-called civilized world maintains, chiefly in idle parade, usually all their lives, no less than 6,244,600 men, armed and pledged to go forth and kill their fellowmen as ordered should war arise. Most of these, however, never fire a hostile shot, war being the exception, long years of idleness the rule. Even in war, with men firing at battleships twelve miles distant, with troops under cover firing at troops a mile distant -- war is no longer conducive to the heroic.
SECOND: The second sad and distressful crime of our day is that in war we are still capturing private property upon the high seas, although it is exempt from confiscation in war upon the land. This is the greater sin, for the seas are the highways of peaceful and necessary exchange of products; no nation has been created to live by its own products alone, but by peaceful, neighborly exchange with other nations, thus creating a brotherhood of man, each benefitting the other. Little do the masses know the extent of this amazing friendly exchange. Last year Britain imported food products to the value of $1,403,000,000, her total imports being $1,960,000,000. Even our country, the United States, imported food products to the extent of $355,000,000, total imports $1,650,000,000. The world's annual exchange of its products amounts to the almost incredible sum of thirty-three billions, five hundred millions of dollars.
We pause to ask this question of the governors of these armed naval powers: Why should this beneficent exchange of products between nations, so vast as to require eleven figures to express, and drawing men towards a holy brotherhood, be interrupted by them against the seemingly obvious plans of an all-wise Creator? Appalling, indeed, the responsibility of rulers, who have the power to remove this embargo upon peaceful, holy exchange amongst men who should be as brothers, promoting each other's good.
There is another aspect worthy of attention: the three Teutonic nations, Germany, the Fatherland; Britain, the Motherland; and the United States, peopled largely with their sons and daughters, all as we have seen, deeply involved in the international exchange of products, naturally possess for its protection the greatest part of the naval power of the world; why, therefore, should they not meet and agree to inform the world in friendly manner that they could not look with favor upon war on the high seas, the sacred pathway of peaceful exchange, promoting the brotherhood of man.
Signatures: PETER AINSLIE, ARTHUR J. BROWN, FRANCIS E. CLARK, W. H. P. FAUNCE, J. CARD. GIBBONS, DAVID H. GREER, FRANK O. HALL, E. R. HENDRIX, EMIL G. HIRSH, HAMILTON HOLT, WILLIAM I. HULL, CHARLES E. JEFFERSON, JENKIN LLOYD JONES, WILLIAM LAWRENCE, FREDERICK LYNCH, CHARLES S. MACFARLAND, MARCUS M. MARKS, SHAILER MATHEWS, EDWIN D. MEAN, WILLIAM PIERSON MERRILL, JOHN R. MOTT, GEORGE A. PLIMPTON, JUNIUS B. REMENSNYDER, HENRY WADE ROGERS, ROBERT E. SPEER, FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON, JAMES J. WALSH, L. B. WILSON
RESOLVED: That a copy of the foregoing resolutions be sent to each Sovereign, President, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Relations, President of Legislature, and other high official of the World Powers, and to the clergy of Germany, Great Britain and the United States.