I am a freedom-loving pacifist. I can celebrate the relative peace we enjoy today, even as it was birthed out of wars and rumours of wars. I believe a pacifist can honour the past sacrifices, while longing for and working towards a day of no war.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;
Project Ploughshares takes their name from the similar passage in Isaiah. This Canadian organization “is rooted in the ethics of Christianity – namely: peace, reconciliation and justice” (see their website). They have five policy foci: nuclear weapons, space security, conventional weapons, defence & human security, and armed conflicts. They work on a model of local people acting on a national/international level
Two Futures Project is “a movement of American Christians for the abolition of all nuclear weapons” (see their website). An ideal goal wrapped in all manner of practical action. I challenge you to learn about the nuclear abolition movement. Learn what you can do as an individual to confront this colossal issue.
These Christian responses to injustice in the world seek to provide practical answers to age-old questions. What can a person do to stop the realism of the world from overwhelming the thoughts of the body of Christ? What can one person do to stop injustice?
But I do recognize that political ideology of realism trumps the reality of life. So until the day we can beat our swords into ploughshares, we need to honour those that make the ultimate sacrifice by serving our nation as part of the armed services, navy, army, air. Thank them for choosing their position of service and sacrifice. Thank their families as well.
How will you celebrate the Fourth of July?