MOSCOW, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Russian priests should refrain from the practice of blessing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction that can inflict indiscriminate loss of life, according to new guidelines being discussed by the Russian Orthodox Church.
During two decades in power, President Vladimir Putin has aligned himself with the Orthodox Church, which has also developed closer ties with the ministry of defence.
Russian priests have long appeared in images sprinkling holy water on submarines, ballistic missiles, Soyuz space rockets and other pieces of hardware as part of rituals to bless them.
But some of that is set to stop if the church approves a document drawn up by an Orthodox Church commission.
"The blessing of military weapons is not reflected in the tradition of the Orthodox Church and does not correspond to the content of the Rite," the document, on the Moscow patriarchate's website, says.
We bless our family members, our patriarchs & matriarchs, our homes . . . We bless our farmlands, and our pets. We bless our governing bodies. We bless our soldiers, individually and as deploying units.
I cannot imagine why we would not bless our weapons and weapon systems. Nuclear weapons are the greatest deterrent to war that we've ever had. The nucs of the 60s, 70s & 80s proved that. Why would we not bless our nuclear weapons, and why would Russia not ask a blessing on theirs? That's my stand on the subject, Orthodox Church can do as they please, of course. I'm okay if I'm not agreed with on this. Having served in the artillery during the Cold War and as the widow of a soldier who served in an artillery battalion during Desert Storm may affect my opinion.
I did a search for scripture that might apply and several topics popped up - prayers for our deploying soldiers, scriptures about hope & protection; an article titled, "Does Jesus Want Bible-Toting Christians?" I read that article, btw, and it's not real high quality (the writer of the article that follows immediately after is pretty foul-mouthed & hate-filled so I wouldn't even recommend that site as being very credible).
The one scripture that made sense, and struck me that applies is Proverbs 25:26 --
“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”
King James Version (KJV)
Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.