Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Peace Isn't Always the Answer

Most people who would read this blog know that I am somewhat of a pacifist - not a strict pacifist, but I definitely am a peace lover. I even mentioned this past Sunday in church how American nationalism intertwining with the church really bothers me.

I read this excert from an LA Times article in THE WEEK and it made me think. It didn't totally change me, but it made me think. Please read and tell me what you think.
"If you want peace, prepare for war," the Roman general Flavius Vegetius Renatus counseled more than 1,600 years ago. This was not belligerence, said Bruce Bawer, but wisdom based on history and human nature. Our world has always included rogues and bullies who prey on the weak, and the more prepared and willing a nation is to defend itself, the less likely it is that it will have to go to war. But the fast growing "peace racket" denies this age-old truth, insisting that all war is unjust.
It goes on to say how they have no quarrel with murderous dictators like Kim Jong Il or Fidel Castro, but that the U.S. is the source of most or all of the world's oppression and poverty. College courses teach that if terrorists kill American civilians, it is wrong to respond with violence. Instead, we should try to reason with these fanatics. It's a message that could only appeal to pampered young Americans totally insulated from the realities that Vegetius spoke of centuries ago. As George Orwell once observed, "To abjure violence, it is necessary to have no experience of it."

For me, it's the line about "insulated pampered young Americans" that really got to me. I haven't been in a situation where I have been attacked. But I guess Martin Luther King was in that situation and he responded without violence.

What do you think?


Timoteo said...

It's weird to come up with a stance on a subject like this. Jesus didn't have a "stance"... He behaved differently in different circumstances.
I don't think that we as pampered Americans have earned the right to have a strong opinion about war. Maybe if you have seen action you do, but not the pampered pastors in So-cal.

Melissa Brosch said...

This idea reminds me of discipline. We all can tell a kid who isn't disciplined by their parents...they are annoying lunatics. There has to be firm lines drawn for kids to respect authority.

In Singapore, I've heard that the crime rate is almost zero. But I also heard that they punish in crazy ways like cutting off people's hands for stealing. Scary, but obviously effective.

It makes sense that if we keep trying to negotiate peace and don't set firm boundaries we will get run all over like a psycho toddler runs over their parents. If we fight back and set boundaries we might protect the world....kinda like tough love.

I obviously left scripture and Jesus out of this, but its just my thoughts

Ryan Walton said...

The first comment was on the right track in going towards Jesus. What a brilliant non-violent example. Social, emotion, political, and spiritual revolution...without violence! Awesome. Good thoughts, Eric. ww