From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Soldiers and Pacifists: Not all that different

Gandhi Memorial  (Fowler&fowler) 
You might think that those engaged in military combat and those protesting it would have little in common.

Alastair McIntosh, a Quaker pacifist who annually addresses a large gathering of senior officers at "Britain's foremost school of war," has discovered otherwise.

McIntosh explains that these seemingly-opposite groups often share two core fundamentals:  Peace is the goal.  Peace is worth dying for.

As McIntosh was told by the Course Director at this British school:  We're all here because we want peace.  Our men and women seek peace just as deeply as you do. The challenge is how you achieve it.

Soldiers can justify their role as long as they believe that peace is impossible without "the protection of their nuclear umbrella."  If that belief begins to fade, it may then be time to lay down the sword and shield.

The second marked similarity is that members of both groups have been willing to sacrifice their lives for the ultimate goal of peace.  In a very real sense, Gandhi died a warrior's death, as did Martin Luther King, Jr. and a host of other dedicated pacifists.


Copyright November 23, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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