Three opponents of the neutron bomb disrupted a worship service attended by President Carter yesterday, but were quickly restrained and removed by church ushers and D.C. police.
"Brothers and sisters, we come in peace for a cause of peace and we ask for two minutes," declared a woman who rose during the offertory at First Baptist Church, 16th and O streets NW.
"Thirty-three years ago, Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima . . ."
But that was as far as the woman got before ushers held her mouth closed and escorted her from the church. A man and a woman had been removed earlier, during a Sunday School class also attended by the president, after managing to complete even less of their planned statements.
D.C police arrested a total of nine protestors yesterday, including eight who had entered the church and refused to leave. On previous Sundays, demonstrators have stood across the street from First Baptist Church bearing banners and placards, but only once before had they tried to interrupt services.
Yesterday's protesters were not in the same section of the auditorium as the president - church policy restricts that section to registered members - and the Carter family's Secret Service guard took no part in handling the disturbance.
After returning to the White House, Carter spoke briefly to reporters about the incident.
"I think that's not a good place to do it, in church," he said. "I deplore the attack on Pearl Harbor that began the war and I hope we don't see more atomic weapons used. But to have a demonstration in church that disrupts the worship service is not the best forum in which to express one's feelings."
The administration has suspended development of the neutron bomb, designed to kill people while doing mininum damage to buildings and property, but the president has said that he may renew work on the bomb if the Soviet Union does not display similar restraint in its nuclear weapons policy.