HOUSMAIL HM#083 - PACIFISM and TERRORISM and WARMAKING 13 October 2001
In an E-mail received yesterday, a friend alerted me to the Editorial in the Wall Street Journal for 11 October 2001, which is headed:
WHEN WE MUST FIGHT
Even Pacifists Must Support This War. Those who refuse are reminiscent of the Oxford Union in 1933.
BY SCOTT SIMON
If you are interested,
can read it all for yourself at:
The bit that stood out
for me, was the closing sentence:
"It is better to sacrifice our ideals than to expect others to die for them."
This is NOT new! It reflects the same thinking that has always confronted Pacifists in times of war. It assumes that Pacifism is no more than an ideal which cannot work in the current situation -- and therefore, since of course, "God is on our side", it must be abandoned for this current "just war".
And it reflects the same basic mistaken presumption that warmakers have always used to justify fighting back:
"MAKE WAR to make peace"!!!
However ..... Pacifism is far more than a mere ideal!
It is a part of the Christian believer's transformed inner nature. It is what he believes to be the truth ! It is an expression of faith in the teachings of Jesus!
Those who have truly experienced it, could not ever inflict evil on others, no matter what the provocation. Like Jesus, they would far rather suffer themselves -- even lay down their lives -- than inflict suffering on others.
CHRISTIAN PACIFISM and NON-VIOLENCE is way of life, that responds to evil by not returning evil. And it does not change in the face of changing external pressures or circumstances.
It is a part of what
has taught us about loving our neighbor as ourselves:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
It is the outworking of obedience to the second greatest commandment:
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matt 22:39)
And without it, no one is yet a true disciple of the one who laid down his own life to save us -- while we were yet enemies.
The personal cost of that ideal is VERY high! It can even cost us our lives.
But then isn't that
an essential element of the Gospel call to Discipleship, which Jesus