Sixteen national religious organizations filed formal comments [PDF] yesterday opposing the Bush administration's $150 billion plan to update the nation's nuclear arsenal, calling the proposed Nuclear Weapons Complex Transformation project wasteful, unneeded and dangerous. The plan, dubbed "Bombplex" by its foes, would streamline the nation's current atomic arsenal of some 10,000 warheads and build new nuclear weapons at various sites, including several in the South.

"We call on our political leaders to show the moral and political courage necessary to bring about a shift in our nation's nuclear weapons posture," stated the comments submitted to the DOE by a coalition of national Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant groups. "Today we have a historic opportunity to begin the journey out from under the shadow of nuclear weapons. We hope and pray that all Americans will take advantage of this moment and join us as we work toward the total elimination of these weapons of mass destruction."

The coalition called instead for a No Production Alternative, which would place a moratorium on new nuclear warhead designs; limit production capacity for new plutonium pits, which act as triggers for nuclear warheads; scale back the existing Nuclear Weapons Complex; and continue the nuclear testing moratorium.

The groups that submitted the comments are American Baptist Churches USA National Ministries and Reconciliation Ministries, Church of the Brethren Witness, Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy, Conference of the Major Superiors of Men, Disciples Justice Action Network, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Islamic Society of North America, Methodists United for Peace With Justice, National Religious Partnership on the Nuclear Weapons Danger, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Pax Christi USA, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Sojourners, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and the United Methodist Church's General Board of Church and Society.