President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former President George H.W. Bush and the nation's military leaders have all endorsed New START, the arms control treaty being debated in the U.S. Senate. The treaty allows the U.S. to keep watch over Russia's stockpile of nuclear weapons and thus reduces the chances that one might fall into the hands of a rouge state or terrorist group.
"On behalf of Christians across this country, we strongly urge you to bring the treaty to a vote, and to support ratification of START," wrote The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, and The Rev. John L. McCullough, executive director of Church World Service, in a letter to members of the Senate. The pair said it was vital the treaty not "be caught in the gridlock of Capitol Hill. Its ratification is too important for the future and security of the United States and the world."
But U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, is waging a fight against the treaty. McConnell, you'll recall, has said defeating President Obama's 2012 re-election is his #1 priority in the new Congress. Republican Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, who in the past has said he might vote for the treaty, is now telling people he might vote against it out of anger that Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed. Leaders of the minority party in the Senate are clearly putting politics before national - even world - security.
75% of Americans support the treaty, according to a CNN poll. Leith Anderson, president of the conservative National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), said earlier this month: “As I travel around the country, I see ‘Support Our Troops’ signs everywhere. Despite political conflicts on many issues, our nation’s security has always been a unifying issue that draws Americans together across party lines... I urge all Senators to set aside any partisan consideration and join their colleagues – both Republicans and Democrats – in swift action on the New START treaty.”