Virtue

Pacifism is cowardice masquerading as virtue. Pacifism is simply an abjuration of responsibility toward our fellow human beings, a stance of incomparable selfishness.

I don’t recall where I found this quote, but it struck me way back when I did as a well-reasoned approach to violence and the necessity of violence in the world.

Now many who have started reading here will probably stop and say “Wait a minute… I thought you were a Christian?”  I am.

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.Luke 22:36

Steel on steel (Colt 1911 and sword blade)

 

If Christ meant for us to be defenseless, why would He instruct the apostles (Peter, Mark, John, Matthew, and all of the rest) and by extension, us, to sell something of great value (in those days, a cloak) in order to obtain a weapon of war?  Later that evening, in the garden of Gethsemane, when Peter cuts off the ear of the Chief Priest’s son with his sword, Jesus did not admonish Peter to drop the sword, but rather to “put it back in it’s place,” (Matthew 26:52).  There is an important aside here though that needs mentioned – Christ did not want his message spread “by the sword.”  Elsewhere in the Bible, self-defense is lauded as permissible and justified in a number of circumstances.  Christ is simply reaffirming that which has been true since time began – your life is precious enough to merit defending.

If Christ made it a point to mention the modern tool of self-defense at the time he walked the Earth, would it not be important to consider it’s implication?  He meant for us to keep it (at that time a sword, now you would impute a gun) ready for use in defense of ourselves and others.  He treasures us.  He places value in us despite our horrible, sinful state.  He instructs us to love one another (John 13:34) which reaffirms His command to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18).

The crux of pacifism is that violence for any reason is immoral, but if we are to love others as ourselves, then failing to come to their defense is a failure to put love into action. If you elect to live a pacifist life in regards to yourself, that is your own choice and you are free to make it, but in regards to others (neighbors, family, friends, etc), it is immoral at the core.

The central point of the quote leading this discussion is that pacifism is immoral, because it places your life as more valuable than someone else’s.  If you fail to act to defend a child you are a coward.  Is that child any more or less valuable than anyone else in the eyes of the Lord?  Are you?

Vincit omnia amor.

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