End of pacifism?

A good blog from the founder of Christian Peacemake teams, well worth a read – can’t remember who tipped me off, sorry if it was you.

Here’s a good excerpt – which makes me proud to call myself a pacifist, which is a relief as someone told me the other day that pacifists are all softies, and I dont like to be called a softy – makes me feel, like a softy…

“Pacifism is not a static condition or position. I have recently learned that the word pacifism comes from two Latin root words through the French word pacifisme.  Pac is traced back to the Latin word, Pax that means peace or harmony.  Fism derives from the suffix ficus which comes from the Latin ficere that means to act or take action.  In the Bible the Greek word eirenopoios (peacemakers, Matthew 5:9) is translated into Latin as pacifici, which means those who work for peace.  Though in our day we tend to abstract ideas from actual living, the original meaning of pacifist was to be an active peacemaker.  A pacifist inherently takes action.”


2 thoughts on “End of pacifism?

  1. Pacifism is very clearly not a soft option, since it demands nonviolence in the face of all sorts of situations where some level of violence is the natural and instinctive reaction.

    If your non-violence comes from fear rather than your commitment to the ideal then you aren’t being a pacifist.

    Having said that, I’m not personally convinced of the correctness of the principle, but I would tend more towards being impressed with people who are committed to it rather than thinking they were a softy. Gandhi was very obviously no softy.

    1. I know pacifism can seem an absurd over simplification in the face of evil, and there’s no easy answer to those difficult questions such as ‘what would you do if…’ but the facts of my doing something violent wouldnt make violence a right reaction.
      I am personally totally unconvinced by the just war arguments, and cannot deny the strength of the Jesus lifestyle in active peacemaking. For me to preach anything but pacifism would be to be untrue to my sincere beliefs, they might be wrong, but they are sincerely held, and ultimately I obviously believe, right.
      Nice of wordpress to assign you a swastika type icon wasnt it.

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