Testimony on Drone Item 11-04

faa-look-for-30000-drones-to-fill-american-skies-by-the-end-of-the-decade

Good morning Mr. Moderator. My name is Shannan Vance-Ocampo from Albany Presbytery. I have also worked long-term on the Colombia Accompaniment Program, a jointly held ministry of nonviolent accompaniment of our sisters and brothers of the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia. I am here to speak in favor of OVT 11-04

  • 11-04 calls for the immediate halt of the use of drones by the US military and its subsidiaries and contractors (who are funded by our tax dollars). Drone warfare is morally, ethically and above all for those who follow Jesus—spiritually bankrupt in totality. I urge you to adopt the stronger language in 11-04.
  • 11-04 calls for PCUSA policy language to oppose the use of drones within our national borders that restrict the movement of people. The ACSWAP report only offers a clear call for drones within our borders to not be weaponized. If we are the church that truly welcomes the stranger, the resident alien then we should not surveil them. That is incompatible with the Christian message of our Savior Jesus Christ. Adopt the stronger language.
  • I believe that the borders of all countries are sacred. I believe that in Jesus Christ there is no east or west in him no north or south—I believe that Jesus Christ came to save all of Creation and so I urge you to adopt the stronger language and not engage language that theologically prioritizes one country’s peace over another.

 I am a mother of a child who is half Colombian.

It does not take much for me to imagine the possibility that my beloved daughter, husband or other family members could be on the ground, or myself, or our mission partners who serve communities broken by war where a drone might strike.

Will they be on the drone computer screen next?

Will it be me as I accompany communities ravaged by war?

Thank you for your service on this committee.

Let us be the Church of Jesus Christ.

I urge you to adopt the stronger language.

Thank you Mr. Moderator.

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