The religions wing of the anti-Vietnam war movement, showed signs this week of a resurgence, coalescing this time around the issue of nuclear disarmament.
While the special United Nations session next week on disarmament provides the focus for much of the activity, some religious leaders are making plans for efforts well into the future.
Last Sunday, for instance, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. announced from his New York City pulpit that he has employed fellow antiwar activist Cora Weiss to organize a series of disarmament conferences across the nation.
The aim of the program, he said, is to set up conferences of mayors, labor leaders and religious leaders to explore such issues as how disarmament might prove financially beneficial to cities and how defense jobs could be converted to peacetime production. He indicated the conferences would also deal with the moral issues involved in the disarmament question.
In anticipation of the United Nations session itself, an ad hoc group called Mobilization for Survival began yesterday a five-day series of events designed to rally people of all religious beliefs behind the cause of disarmanent.
Rallies, Prayer vigils, marches and celebrations have been scheduled daily, with religious services at some of New York's best known houses of worshiship, including St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, founding church of the Paulist order in this country.
The objective of Mobilization for Survival is to urge "the nuclear powers and all nations to take positive steps to eliminate nuclear weapons, ban nuclear energy, put an end to the arms race and provide real security for people by funding programs which meet basic human needs," according to the organization's announcement.
Meanwhile, in Washington an ad hoc group of more than 100 Christians has issued a "Call to Faithfulness" that denounces the nuclear arms race and calls on Christians to reevaluate their attitude toward national security.
"Our primary allegiance to Jesus Christ and his kingdom commits us to total abolition fo nucle weapons," the Call asserts. "We the signers of this declaration commit ourselves to noncooperation with our country's preparations for nuclear war. On all levels -- research, development, testing, production, deployment and actual use of nuclear weapons -- we commit ourselves to resist in the name of Jesus Christ."
On national security, the statement says: "Our nation bases its security on demonic systems capable of turning our globe into an inferno. The simplest meaning of the nuclear arms race is that, in the name of national security, the world's most powerful nations are preparing to commit mass murder. To build weapons of such destruction and to be ready to use them are the marks of a people losing their minds and their souls."
The signers of "A Call to Faithfulness" include a senator (Mark Hatfield of Oregon), a Catholic bishop, the heads of several theological seminaries and editors of several religious journals.