Friday, July 23, 2004

Insightful Essay from Wendell Berry

In further response to James, I have linked to some powerful discussion of war and peace from a great Christian thinker and writer (he is a farmer too).

For an eloquent expression on the "failure of war" from the great Wendell Berry, please click here. Let me know what you think.


james said...

A most wonderful reading. I must say it closed on a very sobering attitude as he states,

"How many deaths of other people’s children by bombing or starvation are we willing to accept in order that we may be free, affluent, and (supposedly) at peace? To that question I answer: None. Please, no children. Don’t kill any children for my benefit."

Also regarding Camp, your point is well taken regarding a Christian's choice for pacifism, leaving the nation-state for the use of arms. As Camp aptly states, "What should Christians do about the threat of terrorism? Nothing! That is the government's job."

Cheers friend.

Michael said...

Rick! Stumbled onto your blog, I feel like I've found a long lost friend.

Sometimes, like when I read the essay, life becomes really painful. The world we can dream of seems so distant from the world we live in, and the neccesity that the dream world be the real world seems to urgent. To see clearly and to avoid cynicism and defeat, that is a true miracle.

Anonymous said...

Berry's vision is of the "other wordly" being made present in this world. We have seen that to set forth a resolve to live on earth as it is in heaven means innocent lives will be lost. A great picture of this is the film "The Mission". Sometimes simply to be of a certain ethnicity meets with violence unprovoked and one need not look far for many examples. And Yes, in order to hold fast to a moral or a virtue and defend it with violence will take lives that have value whether innocent or not so innocent. The christian voice regarding war should be careful to let its tone be tempered by the full reality of this world as well as an authentic hope toward the world to come. Historic Christianity maintains that there will be a new earth while this earth and its systems as we know them will pass away. Pacifism to the christian must mean setting self interest aside not for the sake of an age of peace on earth as an end but in order to show the reality of the world to come when order will be established not by a christ figure bringing perfectly articulated and implemented solutions but by the Christ who by His presence is the undeniable solution. Our cheif aim is to prepare ourselves and as many as we can with this truth while understanding that there are some who are by their given nature guardians who are also our brothers and sisters that are willing and believe themselves called to take arms against enemies that could eradicate any carrier of the truth should they remain unchecked. In short this world will always need the balance of the pacifist and the guardian. As the pacifist prays for a peacful end to all wars let him gratefully remember the guardian that protects his ability to live now as much as possible how we will live then.