By Tom Mountenay

Defendant Tom Mountenay made this statement to Judge Ardie A. Bland on Feb. 18, 2022, in KC MO Municipal Court. After being convicted, Tom was sentenced to pray for the judge and the judicial system and continue to work for peace.

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak and share that my intent when crossing the line was to protest—in a nonviolent way—nuclear weapons. On May 31, 2021, Memorial Day, I crossed a line at the National Security Campus. I chose that site purposely, because that is where the United States makes 80 percent of the parts for nuclear weapons. All weapons of war are to kill the enemy; nuclear weapons kill everyone and everything. Even the making of nuclear weapons kills.

Before I crossed the line I explained why and said, “I am taking a simple step, an act of love, towards a future when there will be no weapons of war, as prophesied by Isaiah.”

Since childhood, my church taught, and I believe the prophesy of Isaiah 11 verse 6:

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.

Tom Mountenay handcuffed, under arrest.—Photo by Bennette Dibben

In my latter years as a minister for Jesus, I meditate and practice trying to live an ethic of a nonviolent life. I have coined a term, horizon love, which I try to live by loving, dreaming, and living in the present towards a future, not yet seen, beyond the horizon, where war will be no more.

One ethic of love found in Romans 10:13 states: Love does no wrong … therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. I appreciate that our nation allows us to practice our diversity of religions as we try to learn the ways towards peace.

My wife Lu Mountenay, now deceased, appeared before your honor. She was a rebel, arrested four times in seeking justice. If Lu had an opinion, she not only voiced it; she did something about it. Lu was her true self when holding a mic or a blowhorn, leading a march or a rally with words of encouragement and challenge. Lu spoke proficiently about the poison of nuclear waste and the threat of nuclear weapons. She served on the board for PeaceWorks Kansas City, editing newsletters and writing news stories.

Before her death, I vowed to continue her support for PeaceWorks.

So it is in the spirit of love that I will try to live PeaceWorks’ core truth: peace works! And I will imagine and strive for a healthy world of justice & peace without war and its weapons.

© 2022, Tom Mountenay, Jane Stoever, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.