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By Anna

There is argued to be two to four types of pacifists in this world:

  1. Universal Pacifist who prohibits all killing
  2. Universal Pacifist who prohibits all violence
  3. Private Pacifist who prohibits personal violence and killing
  4. Anti-War Pacifist who allows self-defense, but against all types of war

To put anyone within the confines of a definition is difficult, but in order to develop a case for Christian pacifists (yes there are Christians not in support of military action!) here are some thoughts on what these four types of Pacifists might say from a Christian perspective:

Type I:  The Bible teaches a strong guidance for the sanctity of all life (Genesis 1:27). What many non-Christians or not-yet-Christians argue against is the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) stories and commands from God for the Israelites to destroy entire groups of people. The Old Testament is an important part of all Christian studies because God’s covenant is formed with Abraham in Genesis and expanded on as a New Testament Covenant from Jesus.

Type 2: The Sermon on the Mount as well as Jesus’ entire lifestyle is anti-violence.

Type 3: Augustine attempted to reconcile the ideas of the Sermon on the Mount with military force as an option. An acceptance throughout the Bible that communal defense is valued, but private violence/defense is wrong.

Type 4:  The most commonly used example for Anti-war Pacifists is WWII. These types would most likely agree that going into Germany was the best course of action, not only for the United States, but for the Jews. The problem Anti-war Pacifists face is if we do fight a defense war, what do we do with all the casualties and death of civilians?

I’m writing about pacifism today because of my continual confliction between “supporting the troops” and disagreeing with any involvement in military activity. How do we claim a belief in an all-loving God, yet kill? Whether it is the death of an innocent life or a military life, how can violence be an acceptable response to violence?

In spite of my research and projection of pacifism onto you, I can’t really say which type I am. I could never say that I would never inflict a violent act upon someone, though I hope I never do, but I am also very anti-war, though as soon as I say that I think about the violence and pure hatred of Hitler Germany in the 1930s and 40s. How can we reconcile our non-violence with violence? And what is it about humanity that requires us to be saved, but only through death?

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By Anna

epln132lWhere does my generation stand in the face of protest? The Vietnam peacemakers transitioned the youth of this country from the enlisting patriots of World Wars I and II to global citizens recognizing the greater issues. What the Vietnam protesters of my father’s generation see as a catatonic waste of a young generation, we see as digital intercontinental vilification. Our action takes to the greatest force in the world: the Internet.

Last week, I wrote about the new “surge” campaign for Afghanistan in Bush tradition, which naturally increases the death toll not only for U.S. troops, but Afghan citizens as well. Death is final, yet the military makes a career out of it.

There is a war for every peacemaker. Some will chose to defend the deaths of U.S. citizens abroad, but others choose children in Sudan, teachers in Cambodia (circa 1975), mothers in Rwanda or Japanese in America.

I respect, research and admire those Vietnam protestors, but defend the lack of physical protests of my generation against the quagmires of Iraq and what will be Afghanistan because times change, and the youth adapt the quickest.

By Ryan

Okay, so I went away for a bit.  But I know you liked the podcasts.  And don’t tell me you didn’t click on every one of those links on Fridays.  Yes, it was summer, the time you’re most bored and also the time when I completely forget about maintaining any kind of update schedule for this blog.  Like Michael Jackson and propofol, it’s an unfortunate pairing.

Speaking of that, did you hear that he died?

HA!  Of course you did, it’s, like, literally, everywhere.  Literally.  I was watching The Battle Over Citizen Kane today, and one of the interviewees said that William Randolph Hurst literally shoved Marion Davies down the throats of the American public.  Naturally, I tried to find a picture of this, but to no avail.

Feel free to paint me one.

Look, we’ve got more of this burnished banter, along with fresh takes on social justice, pop culture, politics, and maybe even a poem or two in store for you this year at Reactionary Century.  Because we use school years here; calendars are so Mayan, and those guys predicted we’d be dead by 2012.  WE’LL SHOW THEM!

By Anna

23jk7771In the race for world power, President Obama promised to leave Iraq within the first 16 months of office. And it seemed as though most Americans were behind this plan, but where was the punditry and critique of the Afghan War during the election? Where is the inveighing against our part in any war?

Though it may not have been in vain that we entered Afghanistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden, we have yet to recover his remains and barely remember his existence, but for Sept. 11.

According to McClatchy Newspapers, “the U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan now has lost more troops this year than in all of 2008, and August is on track to be the deadliest month for American troops there since U.S. operations began nearly eight years ago.”

Though the United States is not on its own in Afghanistan, it certainly has the most pull and clout with more U.S. troops occupying Afghanistan than there are people in my hometown of 55,000, which explains why foreign policy experts are beginning to wonder if Obama’s decisions aren’t just in the Bush tradition “with the difference being that Mr. Obama could be putting more American lives at risk to pursue a failed policy,” according to The New York Times.

When the president talks of war he talks of death. U.S. troops may be expendable, but Afghan citizens are not. It has been a long time since a war has been fought on the homeland and I wonder what would be done differently if Afghan citizens were of equal value to U.S. citizens. What if the war was in your city?

In total:

2008: 294 deaths in Afghanistan

2009 (from Aug. 25): 295 deaths in Afghanistan

"Hey Billy, we love the thumbs up, but could we double it?"

"Hey Billy, we love the thumbs up, but could we double it?"

Today I talk with Erin about the recent wave of celebrity deaths, which celebrites we hope don’t die, and why celebrity death affects us at all.

You can now get the podcast in iTunes so, you know, do that.

Download Reactionary Century Podcast 02 – 062909