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Who Will Love the City After a Nuclear Attack?

Who Will Love the City After a Nuclear Attack?

If history and our own resurrection hope bear out, it will be the Christians.

God's mandate through the prophet Jeremiah has become something of a mantra for evangelicals serving their cities: "seek the shalom of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper" (Jer. 29:7). If you read between the lines of the command, however, you find the implicit traces of an adversary who seeks the city's ruin. This spiritual enemy takes concrete forms: poverty, substance addiction, codified injustice, racism and segregation, educational inequality, food deserts, and all their diabolic colleagues. Those of us who love cities fight such devils because they pursue our cities' devastation.

In the legion of urban adversaries, however, there is nothing quite like the nuclear bomb. This is certainly not to say that nuclear weapons are the most pressing threat to every city. But nuclear weapons are, in their way, the damnable apotheosis of all that hates the city. Their destructive power, orders of magnitude greater than most conventional explosives, is useless in tactical military situations that require targeting and discrimination. What they are singularly capable of, especially in an era of global terrorism, is killing hundreds of thousands of people living in concentrated proximity to each other—i.e., a city.

Four years ago, I founded the Two Futures Project to help prevent this kind of catastrophe by galvanizing American evangelicals' support for the global and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. Our rationale is based in the conviction, widely held by top security experts across the partisan spectrum, that the continued existence of nuclear weapons will guarantee their eventual use—and that their abolition is the only alternative.

In the course of working for prevention, however, the need for preparedness has also become apparent, because history is not in our hands. Toward this end, we recently debuted KnowShelter.com—a simple and compelling resource that will, in less than five minutes, teach anyone most of what they need to do after a nuclear terrorist attack.

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