Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Stanley Hauerwas

google him, read his stuff. this one person i'd like to meet.

"I am a pacificst, so the American "we" cannot buy my "me". But to be alienated from the American "we" is not easy. I am a neophyte pacifist. I never really wanted to be a pacificst. I had learned from Reinhold Neibuhr that if you desire justice you had better be ready to kill someone along the way.

But then John Howard Yoder and his extraordinary book The Politics of Jesus came along. Yoder convinced me that if there is anything to this Christian "stuff", it must surely involve the conviction that the Son would rather die on the cross than for the world to be redeemed by violence.

Morover, the defeat of death through resurrection makes possible as well as necessary that Christians live non-violently in a world of violence. Christian nonviolence is not a strategy to rid the world of violence, but rather the way Christians must live in a world of violence. In short, Christians are not nonviolent because we believe our nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, but rather because faithful followers of Christ in a world of war cannot imagine being anything else than nonviolent.

American imperialism, often celebrated as the new globalism, is a frightening power. It is frightening not only because of the harm such power inflicts on the innocent, but because it is difficult to imagine alternatives. Pacifists are often challenged after an event like September 11 with the question, "Well, what alternative do you have to bombing Afghanistan?" Such a question assumes that pacifists must have an alternative foreign policy. My only response is I do not have a foreign policy. I have something better - a church constituted by people who would rather die than kill."

- taken from A Pacifist Response, in "Dissent from the Homeland, essays after September 11"

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