Passive Pacifists?

This post has been moved to Pastor Michael’s blog here. Thanks for stopping by!

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3 Responses to Passive Pacifists?

  1. Ken Kroeker says:

    Thanks Michael for your most recent thoughtful reflections on the topic of pacifism. You’re perspective is very similar to that reflected in John Howard Yoder’s book “What would you do?”, where he also argues that the question is in fact filled with wrong assumptions about how we address matters such as pacifism and requires a much broader perpspective. The scenario, as you point out and also Yoder, is so out of keeping with most experience and would if it did occur, include all kinds of variables which one could never hope to address by these simplistic scenarios. We should focus rather on building communities where peace ethics abound, so groups and individuals are equipped and informed by this when faced by violence in wahtever form it takes. I am further reminded by past readings of Stanley Hawerwas who reflects that tthis character building is the work of the faith community and because of its peace position, Anabaptists by virtue of their history and story are well positioned to inform this position, not because they have always gotten it right but because of the narrative they bring to this issue. I also recall the anglican minister from southern Alberta who lost his son in a school shooting who spoke at Corn&Apple. He claims that his ability to forgive the offender was possible because of church,school,& family environment which nurtured peace filled living. This is our task regardless of where and what we do.

    • Michael Pahl says:

      Great additional thoughts, Ken, thanks. I had some comments on my Facebook about this post, one of which expressed interest in the idea of “active pacifism.” I was struck by some similarities between my reply to my friend’s comment, and your comment here. Here was my reply: “‘Active pacifism’ – or at least the idea if not the words – has been around for a while as Mennonite and other Anabaptist peace theology has been expanding beyond some of its narrower traditions. Unfortunately this hasn’t made it down to the pews in all Mennonite churches, but it’s ripe for the picking. It’s really the practical legacy of MCC and similar initiatives, combined with the theological legacy of John Howard Yoder, expanded through interaction with a broader stream of Christian thinking and work in peace and social justice.”

  2. Frank says:

    Well said. Thanks.


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