Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Pacifism and the Church

[Some say,] "But pacifism is so impractical!" As if Christian ethics were utilitarian, as if there were a calculus for shalom! ... In any case, it is not as if the whole church has tried pacifism and found it wanting, the fact is that the whole church has not tried pacifism at all.
- Kim Fabricius, from his book, Propositions on Christian Theology: A Pilgrim Walks the Plank
I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.  Einstein
Another great quote sent by Sojourners.  And it fits with the stories of Christians, among others, protesting at the upgrading of Trident

They say that the early church was pacifist and it was only when Constantine adopted it as the state religion that the need for the theory of a just war was needed and created.

I will state now that I am nearly a pacifist.  Although I am not sure under what circumstances I would fight!

If you look at the requirements of a just war it is difficult to see in this day and age how "All other ways of resolving the problem should have been tried first." allows for the use of force as there are so many approaches possible.  Also, with the state of current weaponry "Innocent people and non-combatants should not be harmed." seems impossible to keep to - any one for collateral damage?

The most obvious example of a war that might have been just is the Second World War, but that falls foul of "There must be a reasonable chance of success.", and I sometimes wonder whether fewer people would have been killed if Germany had been allowed to proceed.  Look at what happened in the USSR, in my lifetime the bad things that happened there ended through politics rather than force.

We can see that war doesn't always solve things - the 1st World War led onto the second and the first Gulf war to the second.  There needs to be a political solution to prevent further war, so why have the first war before the politics?

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