I have a particular kind of admiration for theologians who aren’t known for their sugarcoating. The reason, of course, is that I myself am no sugarcoater. Being someone who speaks the truth a bit more from the hip than I perhaps should at times, I have sometimes found myself wondering about my calling: can a person of faith not have the “warm fuzzies” all of the time? Can they be openly critical of the Church at large and still hope to find the place where they are needed in some ministry capacity? If I want to write a book, what will become of me? Have you ever been to a Christian bookstore? I ask you this, because for some reason even though we are grown-up women, Lifeway in particular seems to think that all books authored by and/or geared toward women must, and I mean *must* have a pink or red cover. I am here to tell you that if I wrote a book and the two options were the one just mentioned or to remain unpublished, I would surely remain unpublished. See what I mean? Not. A. Sugarcoater.
All of this to say that I found an interview by Hauerwas just now in which he defended being a pacifist in a way I thought just brilliant.
I, too, think that all Christians necessarily should be pacifists. I think that the Just War Theory is too often used as a justification after the fact and not in the way that it was intended to be utilized: as a tool before war begins, but that is neither here nor there. I am absolutely against war. If God tells you to go to war, I am uncertain whether your issue is one of discernment or of mental health, but my theology leads me clearly to a place where war does not fit in with the instructions that I am to follow.
Here is a brief excerpt from the interview with Hauerwas. You may not appreciate his reasoning, and that’s fine. He is not someone that people are typically on the fence about: I know which side of the fence I am on where he is concerned.
Q:What should be the church’s role in the debate over Afghanistan?
A:Let’s start with people in our congregations who are connected with the military, and ask them how they can justify that. Let’s start there. I have high regard for people in the military, but very seldom are they asked to justify what they’re doing.
Q:So every Christian is called to be a pacifist?
Q:So how do you respond to people who say that’s unrealistic?
A:Try lifelong monogamous fidelity in marriage. Do you think that’s realistic? Yet we do it. I’m not terribly cowed by the idea of being unrealistic.
For the full interview, click here.