Tuesday, July 14, 2009

pacifist.

If we care about human life and about freedom, we must reject war, no matter what our political leaders tell us. War poisons our souls, kills the children of "the enemy,' and mutilates the bodies and minds of our own soldiers. -Howard Zinn

4 comments:

chrish said...

And when those who do not care about human life or freedom, and who do not reject war, show up on our doorstep to deprive us of those two things, how does Howard Zinn respond?

bre said...

I don't know how Zinn would respond, but I would hope that I would respond as Jesus would - with non-violence, heaping coals, and the Grace of God.

Zac said...

Chrish,

I can only assume that your question is implying a sense of distaste for a pacifist ethic of non-violence. IF this is the case, I must agree with Bre in pointing to Jesus. The question that we must ask ourselves in this discussion is, "do we think that we should do all we possibly can to imitate the life of Jesus Christ?" If we answer affirmatively to this, then I do not believe that we can respond in any way to the question as to whether Christians should be involved in violence other than to say that we are called to an ethic of strength in weakness, not victory through strength of state or weaponry, etc. If, on the other hand, we answer negatively, then we must conclude that Jesus did not live and die as an example for how WE should live and die, but rather SIMPLY as a credit card payment on our overdue account. And....while there may very well be some Pauline language to support the "debt" language above, to focus on only this aspect of how Christ saves us is to ignore how Christ saves us as we continue to embody Christ's sacrificial life -- in other words, it is to ignore how Christ saves us even as we refuse to grant the power of death its desire for our reciprocity.

Zac

chrish said...

Zac,

Sorry for implying anything; when it comes to the defense of others, I have great distaste for the pacifist ethic.

What's more, I don't think that your question is fair, as it begs the question of what Jesus would have actually done. I don't recall reading a command from him to do nothing when others are harmed. While true that He refrained from resisting in His own defense, there is no comparison between His following the will of the Father to the Cross and my militarily resisting such an evil as the Nazis (for example).

Do I believe in rampant warmongering? - of course not. Would I have joined the military during Canada's efforts in WWII? - I can only hope I would have the strength to sacrifice my comfort, safety, and life in the defense of others.