Monday, February 18, 2008

the lion & the lamb

I just got done with my small group discussion session for my "War & Christian Conscience" class. In my discussion group, I'm the only pacifist, or at least the only pacifist who talks. (I think there is one other but that person hardly talks during the group time.) Anyway, so I get to defend the pacifists we read--or try not to defend them, just state more clearly what they're actually saying instead of the distorted ways others read them--and also poke holes in the just war theory. But of course I can't respond to everyone's comments because then I would be talking too much, so you all will get to hear my further thoughts that I didn't get to share in class.

Our group leader today (leadership rotates) said at the very end, when no one could respond, that a lecturer he heard on the just war theory said, "Pacifism is a nice ideal, but it just doesn't work. And pacifists always, whether they like it or not, have to rely on the Gentiles around them to keep them safe, so they're really not pacifists at all." Our group leader also referred to a quote that was in one of our readings, a quote by either Martin Luther or Martin Luther King, Jr., I can't remember which and I don't have the book with me. Anyway, the quote is something like, "The Bible talks about the lion laying down with the lamb, but if we live like that in this world, the lamb will have to be replaced frequently."

So: to discuss this last quote first, what I wanted to say but couldn't because class was over, is that, "Yes, the lamb has to be replaced frequently, but it has to be replaced frequently even if it comes at the lion with weapons, assuming the lion also has weapons." The funny thing about just war theory and other theories when discussing pacifism is that they assume that 1. war works to achieve its ends, and 2. pacifism doesn't work because people might die. Well, if not dying is the desired end, war does not work any better (and sometimes worse) than it would if we did not resist at all, or resisted using nonviolent methods. In war, each side feels justified to continue fighting because the other side is using violence against them, so they have the "moral obligation" to continue defending themselves. This leads to more and more violence and loss of life. If we didn't resist at all when someone tried to invade our country (not that I'm saying that would be a good thing), it is likely that not that many people would die. Of course there are cases where this is not true, where genocide is occurring or where (like the Europeans when we came to the New World) desire for land and conquest means it is necessary to kill those living on the desired land.

But if we resist nonviolently, the justification for reacting with violence is taken away. If the enemy has any sense of decency and justice they will not shoot an unarmed civilian, or at least they won't shoot thousands of unarmed civilians, who are intentionally putting themselves in a position to show the injustice of what is occurring. Soldiers might kill thousands of unarmed civilians who are not resisting (e.g. Nazis killing Jews), but they are not likely to kill those who are nonviolently resisting in an effective way so that the soldier must face directly into the injustice of his/her action.

I think pacifism is a good idea, and I think it WOULD work, if we actually tried it. There are many examples of nonviolent resistance succeeding, from the Civil Rights Movement in the American 1960s to the Indian salt incident with Gandhi, to lesser known examples of groups resisting Nazism and succeeding as well as labor unions resisting communism and succeeding in receiving fair wages, etc. Had these groups resisted violently they would have been wiped out by superior military forces. But by showing the superior morality of their situation, the other side couldn't get anyone to fight for them.

The other question is where I think it gets the most problematic, and yet I don't think it's fair. To say that pacifists must always rely on Gentiles to fight for them is not a fair way of looking at it. First of all, if we had a state of pacifists who did all they could to show love to other nations and to pre-emptively (and nonviolently destroy the causes of war, would this nation need to be defended by "Gentiles" who were willing to fight? Perhaps other countries would invade it, but this hypothetical pacifist state would be organized and committed enough to resist nonviolently so that the other nation may succeed in taking them over in some ways, but would never succeed in taking them over mentally and spiritually, and would probably eventually give up.

The fact that there is no such state means that those of us who are pacifists must live in the world in our various states, which do not live in a pacifist manner, so they must defend themselves violently because they have not shown love to others and have instead acted selfishly, so other nations respond in kind. We have no choice but to live in these states (or I suppose to kill ourselves...), and I don't think it's a good idea to separate ourselves out into a pacifist state anyway. But the argument that we have to have others "do our dirty work for us" is unfair, because the nations that are "defending" us are also creating situations from which we must be defended.

So there, there's my refutation, too bad we didn't have an extra 20 minutes of class so I could lecture on all these things. Someday I will have a captive audience and my students will have no choice but to listen to my opinions! *evil chuckle*

20 comments:

Becky said...

Good thoughts, Cherice. I think the critique about letting other people do the dirty work so that we can be pacifists gets even stickier when you think about it less in terms of armies but more in terms of policing. To a certain extent, I benefit and am safe to be a pacifist because some people wear uniforms and utilize weapons to keep social "peace."

On a side note: On a recent trip to London, I was amazed to see policeman walking the streets giving directions to tourists and helping people fix their inside-out umbrellas in the rain storm. I was greatly encouraged to see how through their positive presence (no guns), they were making the city safer. People didn't seem to be afraid to approach them either...what a concept!

cherice said...

Becky,

I agree--when it comes to policing it's much more difficult. Some pacifists are OK with having police, if, as you say, they're not armed. Sometimes they have to use force, and definitely they have to use restraint (which can be considered violent in that it restricts freedom), but they do not use lethal force except by accident. I guess that's about as close as I can come to an answer about that. I still am not sure what I think about police, but I do profit from their risk. My school has security guards who patrol our campus and our housing complexes all the time. I don't think they have weapons, but they still use the threat of force to keep people from doing stuff they shouldn't--if they see something weird they'll call the police. So it's hard to know where to draw the line.

MartinK said...

There must be a typo. I think what that person was saying was: "Christianity is a nice ideal, but it just doesn't work. And Christians always, whether they like it or not, have to rely on Ceasar to keep them safe, so they're really not Christians at all."

Seriously, Jesus didn't mince words. Being Christian is hard. Yes, the lamb has to be replaced frequently--didn't you just post about Perpetua and Felicitas? Everyone in the early church got sacrificed. The lamb is the sacrificial animal, Jesus is the lamb, Jesus is the first Christian martyr. Just before the second Gulf War a survey that found that American Christians were more likely to support war than American aetheists. Why are people calling themselves Christians and yet defending the armies of Caesar? There's this whole movement of people who want to call themselves Christian but don't want to have to be subscribe to the principles. I don't get it. Glad to hear there's one dissenting voice in a seminary class!
Your Friend, Martin @ Quaker Ranter

cherice said...

Thanks, Martin! I like your "correction" of the "typo." =) And it's encouraging to hear from others who don't think I'm crazy--refreshing, in fact. Yes, we need to remember that following Christ isn't going to be an easy deal. We also need to be careful not to just sacrifice ourselves willy-nilly, because obviously (and I don't think this is your point) the point of following Christ isn't death. It's just that when we follow Christ TRULY, we aren't always liked and we aren't asked to fight back violently when someone opposes us, we're asked to LOVE them. It's hard to love someone and kill them, I think....but that's just me...

I'll keep being the dissenting voice for as long as I have breath on this matter, I think.

Swallowtail said...

I see this being an issue of a culture of violence. I recently addressed the American culture of violence in my blog in response to the latest of many school shootings and quoted Robert Kennedy:

"We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire... Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul."

It is because of this culture of violence that American police need to carry guns. It takes a long commitment of nonviolence to cleanse our society but that is what we do as pacifists. As a planning student I know the benefits of long-term planning, and planning for nonviolence is desperately needed in this country. There is a serious proposal for a US Department of Peace, and that would go a long way toward resolving conflict around the world. A comprehensive plan for peace worldwide is what is needed and it is very possible.

To clarify the simplicity I expressed in a previous comment, I don't think it is justifiable to kill people in self-defense if they are only defending themselves. I hope nobody saw a loophole in being able to justify killing in war. (To the anonymous commenter in that previous post: forgiveness is divine, so don't let your past actions get you down too much.)

~Kurt :)

Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

Cherice, you're really on a roll these days! One delightful essay after another!

I remain convinced that, ultimately, the one defense for pacifism that stands up to every criticism is not the utilitarian argument that it "works". It is, very simply, the argument that we give up the sword in obedience to our master Christ, who commanded his disciples to resist not evil, who told Peter, in the Garden, to put up his sword, and who told Pilate that his disciples do not fight because his kingdom is not of "this world".

About that quotation you're trying to recall: I don't think it was either Martin Luther or Martin Luther King. It was Robert Heinlein (not a Christian at all) who wrote in a 1958 science fiction novel, Have Space Suit, Will Travel about "...that 'Happy Family' you sometimes see in traveling zoos: a lion caged with a lamb. It is a startling exhibit but the lamb has to be replaced frequently."

One of Woody Allen's witticisms, by the way, is that you can get a lion and a lamb to lay down together, but the lamb won't get much sleep.

Classical Christian pacifism doesn't exclude police, even police with weapons. It takes into account Paul's argument in the opening verses of Romans 13, that the bearing of the sword by the "magistrate" — the law-upholding, law-enforcing government — is in accordance with God's will. Classical Christian pacifism simply declares that in becoming Christians, we are called to a higher path, a more perfect obedience, than the magistrate's: we are called to the path and the obedience of the cross. And as Martin rightly points out, that is not leaving the "dirty work" to the magistrate, but rather, emulating our true master, Christ, in his gentle acceptance of whatever the evildoers wanted to do to him.

But here I am reminded of one more quotation: G. K. Chesterton once wrote (in a 1910 work, What's Wrong with the World?) that "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried." That is the quotation I'd have liked to take up with your group leader.

cherice said...

Kurt,

Great comments--it is very frustrating living in a culture of violence where it is necessary (in logical terms) for police to carry weapons. Hopefully we can get the Dept of Peace rolling, and that will ease violence at home and abroad. I agree that it takes a lot of planning, and it's sad that we're willing to put a lot of planning and strategizing into war, but not into peace.

Marshall,

Glad you're enjoying my posts! I have more to say when I'm in school.

The book I was reading for class quoted that lion & lamb quip as from Martin Luther or MLKJ but I don't know which one, so probably the movie you're referring to got it from them...? Or else the quote in the book is wrong. I'll look it up sometime when I'm at home.

The problem with allowing police to use violent force is that it's a very slippery slope. Where does our "police action" stop and "war" begin? And if we are OK with Gentiles protecting us but we get to live a "higher" lifestyle, isn't that fairly elitist? I'm not really comfortable with that solution.

I too appreciate that GK Chesterton quote. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...
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Ralph Beebe said...

"Pacifism is a great ideal, but in our present world simply doesn't work ..."

This is astonishing to me, because who said following Jesus WAS supposed to work? At first Peter used this measuring stick, then learned something when Jesus rebuked him for defending Him with the sword. He, and thousands of other Christians during those preConstantinian pacifist years died violently for being nonviolent in Christ, refusing to give away what was obedient in exchange for a few more years of life.

These early Christians, and a significant minority even in the postConstantinian years, believed Jesus' nonviolent way actually would win something far more important than a military battle or a whole war. A couple hundred years ago Adin Ballou summed it up well, saying that if we all showed Christlike love, we would defeat our enemies by turning them into faithful friends.

Marshall Massey said...

The sweeping assertion that "pacifism doesn't work" — i.e., that violence works better than nonviolence does — seems just as silly to me as the sweeping claim that "pacifism works". Both can be readily challenged by counterexamples.

One of the most stunning modern cases of nonviolence working against an armed and murderous intruder is the case of Louise Degrafinried and Riley Arcenaux, recounted in the Memphis Commercial Appeal on August 25, 1998 and February 21, 2003, and also in Jim Forest's 1987 book Making Friends of Enemies, pp. 107-09. There are a number of retellings of this story on the Web; one can easily find them using Google.

Two good collections of stories of nonviolence working in book form are A. Ruth Fry, Victories Without Violence (1939, 1986) and Dorothy T. Samuel, Safe Passage on City Streets (1975, 1991). (Dorothy Samuel was the mother of Bill Samuel, who often posts his comments on Quaker blog sites.) Many of us pacifists also have stories from our own lives of how the practice of nonviolence worked in perilous situations where violence very likely would have backfired; I myself could tell a few.

Bayard Rustin, the Friend (Quaker) who pioneered the "Freedom Rider" strategy, and who was later instrumental in persuading Martin Luther King, Jr., to adopt Gandhi's nonviolent methods, described his own experiments with nonviolence in his 1971 book Down the Line. His accounts are perhaps a bit more helpful than most in revealing the specific emphases that nonviolence needs to have in order to be maximally effective.

Martin deserves the chance to defend his own position, so I will only say that I believe he was justified in substituting "Christian" for "pacifist".

As to your own response, Cherice — it seems to me that the fact that the line between "police action" and "war" is fuzzy, need be of no concern to Christians. We are not called as Christians to be police ourselves, so if we do as Christ commands, we will never find our own selves on that "slippery slope" you refer to. Let those, like "Anonymous", who choose not to follow Christ's pacifistic teaching, worry about the "slippery slope" between police actions and war; for us, Christ has made the issue irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Pacifist Friends,
as the precept leader of the very discussion, I need to clarify a few inaccuracies on part of Cherice: The first quote was from Martin Luther who said that in the tension between the already-and-not yet (God's eternal kingdom was already inaugurated by Jesus but is not fully realized and established yet) the ideal vision of lion and lamb peacefully lying together is not reality in our time and age (but rather "only" ideal and promise), because of which a lamb that acts otherwise (by ignoring the lion's dangererousness) would frequently have to be replaced after taking its place next to the lion. He definitely has a point there (that's just me, of course). And, Cherice, an "armed lamb" definitely had more chances of preventing harm and injustice from happening than a pacifist model (even, and most especially if the lion was armed himself).
As for the other quote, MartinK is mistaken in equating "Pacifists" with "Christians" in the quote. The professor I cited is Prof. Charles who presently lectures at Princeton University, was born and raised Mennonite and hence knows a lot about the Pacifist argument first-hand (and long before he started to treat it professionally). In the meantime he turned his back on pacifism, but still is in continuous dialogue with family members and close friends commited to this tradition. He said that "Pacifism is a great ideal, but in our present world simply doesn't work for there continues to be the need to protect and defend the weak and defenseless. Whether Pacifists agree about the existence of this need or not, they profit from those who do see it and act accordingly; by their refusal to take up arms themselves if necessary they thus always rely on Gentiles who do the dirty work for them." (That's what he basically said, of course I couldn't quote him word for word.) As long as pacifists want to make use of the protection provided by policemen and soldiers, they (silently) admit that this is the case - they need someone to protect them ("dirty work") but as Christians feel not capable of doing so themselves (out of obedience to Christian ethics and Jesus' commands: side note, have a close look at Lk 22).
Without responding to all your examples, Cherice (which I gladly would discuss in person if we have the chance), I gladly admit that you have a point. Of course, King and Gandhi did the exact right thing (in their historical situation). However, as you say yourself (between the lines), those individual cases cannot by any means be generalized. In World War II, in all those cases of genocide and manslaughter, these incidents despite all their exemplary power are of little use. I (a sovereign state) either forcefully intervene or watch those people die. The same goes for the home intruder scenario: If my family is put in danger by an evildoer who means business (murdering children, raping women etc.) I either watch the intruder do their misdeeds or intervene by all means available, including the use of force to kill (by accident or intention) to protect loved-ones (in love jumping in the line of fire wouldn't help much, I would just be the first killed). I could love them (evildoer) however much I wanted, this wouldn't necessarily make a difference (and the probability is by far to low to take the chance in my fancy). Furthermore, by doing so (using force) I might even do an act of love to the intruding person by hindering them from a terrible sin (admittedly at the expense of harming, even killing them).
Some thoughts from my point of view, an angle apparently completely different from all those you hold. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage you all to thoroughly read the course books (Faith and Force, Just and Unjust Wars etc.) and consider the arguments the advocates of a Christian "yes to war" (where necessary) elaborate.

John K. said...

My own two cents is that I am called to a strong presumption against the personal use of coercion and violence, and an even stronger presumption against participating in the mass-violence that is war. I don't consider myself a pacifist, because I can't say that principle precludes the possibility of coercion and violence ever being justified. The home invasion scenario alluded to by the previous commenter is one situation where it clearly would be justified, to my mind. If obvious criminals were trying to break down the door to your house when you and your family are inside, are you as a Quaker precluded from calling the police station one block away? If not, why can't a Quaker in principle use force and if necessary violence to defend against the aggression, just as the police would do?

I have no doubt that responding to violence with violence is almost always counter-productive, and I have no doubt that if I ever found myself in a situation where I deemed it necessary to use potentially deadly force and in fact killed a person I would probably be haunted by it for the rest of my life. But I think it's consistent with our Quaker aversion to creeds and with our aspiration to be attentive to the leadings of the living God in whatever situations we may find ourselves to "never say never."

That said, I think our strong but rebuttable presumption against the use of coercion and violence should hold double against participating in state-sponsored mass-violence. (Incidentally, as a "philosophical anarchist," I would include voting within that category.) The reason for the double or triple presumption against participating in things like war is that if we're going to engage in coercion and violence, in spite of all our peaceable instincts, then we need to be damned sure that we are on the side of justice. When some criminal is breaking through your front door, there's little doubt about who's in the right and who's in the wrong. The little of "just war theory" that I've read seems to acknowledge this inevitable ignorance that mere citizens labor under with regard to the justice or supposed necessity of a proposed war (given that international relations are carried on far "over" their heads), but holds that in the face of such ignorance the citizen should presume the justice of its country's cause unless and until proven otherwise. I think we should in fact presume the exact opposite -- i.e. that wars are almost invariably caused by the greed and desire for "luxury" embodied in the governments that are the real parties to the conflict (even if those governments are in fact "faithfully" representing the greed of the populace), as Plato recognized more than two thousand years ago and as many others have recognized since. Both of the parties to a war are most typically at fault, and the ordinary private "citizen" is not a party to or responsible for their conflict. (If you're part of a normally peaceful farming community and Viking raiders are landing on your shores, that's a different matter.) The common man should refuse to pay in blood the price that the "lords of the earth" demand for their luxuries. The state has "no authority" to demand that anybody do anything (aside from the authority we all have to demand that our fellow "citizens" do not commit injustices against one another), let alone the authority to demand that anybody murder anybody else at the state's behest.

Many Quakers, as I understand it, were divided in conscience when it came to WWII. It certainly seemed to many that the madman Hitler needed to be stopped. And I for one believe that if in certain circumstances we are morally permitted to employ force and even violence in our own behalf (e.g. in the case of the home invader) we are also permitted to employ it on behalf of and in cooperation with others, so long as we are absolutely convinced that our cause is just. But even in WWII things weren't absolutely black and white. For the most part we weren't aware at the time of what the Nazis were doing to the Jews. And the German populace had become particularly susceptible to a demagogue like Hitler because of onerous sanctions and oppressions inflicted by the international community, had they not? And at the end of the conflict, the Allies generously let Eastern Europe fall under the sway of our genocidal friend Uncle Joe Stalin. So much for being the good guys in the fight against genocide and oppression. Perhaps most importantly, if you were to sign on with the U.S. Army or Navy even in the "good fight" against the Japs and the Nazis, you had no way of really knowing the extent of what you were signing on for, i.e. what your "superiors" to whom you'd pledged your autonomy away might ask you to do. In fact, you just might have found yourself in the flight crew on one of the bombers headed to Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Incidentally, even though I'm not a pacifist I personally would not join or recommend that others join a police force, for reasons similar to the above. Police officers in our day and age are called upon to enforce many laws that are simply unjust.

Bill Samuel said...

We do live in a culture of violence, and the idea that violence is not a solution to problems is so alien to the culture that most people can't wrap their minds around it.

The double standard that has been alluded to is powerful. Nonviolence is held to a standard the culture would never hold war or other violence to - such things as people dying being considered proof of failure for nonviolence but not for violence.

If people actually looked objectively at the history of violence, and what it produces, they might see that Christ was not as crazy as most people think. It comes down to an ends and means question. Pacifist believe that the means determines the ends, and the defenders of war and other violence don't believe that at all.

The myth of redemptive violence has hold of our society. It is a complete falsehood, but it is a myth that is glorified.

Christ, Gandhi and King all met violent deaths, but I don't see any of them as failures.

Ralph Beebe said...

Cherice, excellent. I also congratulate others, including John K., who claims not to be a pacifist, but gave some good reasons to be one.

For me, central to my pacifism, is that Jesus taught it, Christians practiced it almost universally until Constantine, and if all Christians were pacifists, the impact on the world would be so great that our society would be wonderfully changed. I must recognize, though, that pacifists are individuals; nations are not. So I have to ask myself "Has the U. S. government ever done anything I thought was a mistake?" The answer is obvious--when the choice is Jesus or my government I must go with Jesus, even if it might not "work" by human standards. So again, the question is "Who is my commander-in-chief--George W. Bush or Jesus?" (Or if I had lived in Germany when I grew up, was my commander-in-chief Hitler or Jesus?) Most Christians would respond "Bush", or "Hitler", or whomever was their nation's commander at the time. So it raises a difficult question: "What if Pres. Bush, or Hitler, or whomever, commands me to kill someone Jesus doesn't want dead?"

In WWI my uncle, a strong Christian, was responsible for the deaths of several Germans, all of whom wore belt buckles inscribed "God is with us." Then a sniper shot my uncle. As they are conversing in Heaven today, I wonder what they are saying about the cause of their deaths?

War is terrible, but could be made much less so if we were willing to invest as much prayer, money and energy into seeking peaceful solutions as we (even Christians) do into seeking hateful and violent solutions. Yes, questions such as "What would you do if your children are being attacked?" are difficult. But think how much better we would be if we all accepted the pacifism of the early church rather than accepting "my country right or wrong," which reduces morality to where one happens to have been born, or the just war, which Augustine presented, believing almost all wars were unjust but there were some situations where hatred and killing are justified. This slippery slope has justified wars through the past 1700 years, as every nation, and most citizens in every nation, believe all its wars are just, and all wars fought against it are unjust.

Again, excellent discussion, Cherice!

Anonymous said...

If there was no alternative to war, then it might make sense to support war. But nonviolent action is more ethical and more effective. See this opinion column I wrote:

Nonviolent Action — A More Ethical and Effective Alternative to War

--Randy

Anonymous said...

Cherice and all,

Thank you for this thoughtful discussion.
I need to take issue with something John K. wrote: Both of the parties to a war are most typically at fault, and the ordinary private "citizen" is not a party to or responsible for their conflict. ... The common man should refuse to pay in blood the price that the "lords of the earth" demand for their luxuries. I'm afraid that almost all Americans are implicated as "lords of the earth." We live very luxurious lives at the cost, often in blood, of others. When our government goes to war over oil (or interferes coercively in other nations to control oil) that is to fuel our cars and grow and transport our cheap food. Most of us have closets filled with clothing sewn by our impoverished sisters and brothers in developing countries under the iron hand of American imperialism. The examples of our complicity in war go on and on.
To be a Christian pacifist, it seems to me, means more than to refuse to fight, but to live in that life and power that takes away the occasion of all war. Our (my) everyday lives do not meet that test. I confess I'm not yet ready to lay down my sword - even as I have an inkling of the pain it causes to others. I pray to be willing to do so.

Cindy Maxey

Ralph Beebe said...

Cindy: "I confess I'm not yet ready to lay down my sword"

Why, Cindy?

Ralph

Anonymous said...

Ralph,

Why don’t I lay down my sword? Part of the answer is that I don’t know how to live without it. I couldn’t get to my job, or almost anyplace else, from where I live now without a car and moving isn’t currently an option. (I’m struck by how much violence is connected to a sense of helplessness, whether that sense is accurate or not.)

And too, I don’t want to do without it. I like the mobility my personal automobile gives me. I like to wear nice clothes and have some pretty objects around my home. I wish I could travel more than I do now. And I already feel like an odd duck. I’d like to believe that the choices I do make for simplicity and peace are a witness for another, more compelling, way of life, but I think my coworkers and family just think I’m weird. I’m mostly OK with that, but I don’t really want to appear even weirder than I already do.

So I toddle along, making the changes I’m most drawn to and feel able to handle. I fluctuate between a sense of guilt for my complicity in evil and a growing compassion, and even respect, for those who feel they must use violence to fight for what they believe in and who are willing to pay the cost with their bodies, minds and souls. At least their actions and beliefs are consistent. I’m more conflicted.

Cindy

Bill Samuel said...

I hear you Cindy. I'm attending the Everything Must Change Tour (follow-on to the book Everything Must Change by Brian Mclaren). A question was asked at this evening's session about being overwhelmed by the problems and our role in them.

I'm in the same place. The answer is not to be immobilized, but to listen to God who will show us the next step we need to take, and be ready to take it. Then we will get another, and so on. It never stops, but we can reduce our complicity in what Brian calls the "Suicide Machine" over time.

Anonymous said...

Aloha and Peace to everyone,

Keep the communication lines open as this is one of the most important issues on the planet. I'd like to suggest a book that may shed new light on the subject: WAR AND THE SOUL by Edward Tick, Ph.D.

Towards the future!