Committing oneself to nonviolence and peacemaking has never been popular. But now that we live in the era of the War on Terror, it may be even more difficult to hold such commitments. The conflict has evolved into a complex ideological-religious-cultural entanglement that demands individuals to choose a side and stand by it at all costs. In the United States, this tribalistic outlook has created the assumption that we (i.e., Americans) are the good guys and that we need to kill the “bad guys” because they are trying to destroy everything we value in the world. They hate us, so we must hate them back — obviously.
For those of us who claim to be peacemakers, this cultural scenario leaves us in a moment of crisis. We cannot be quiet pacifists anymore. We cannot keep our yearning for peace to ourselves while the rest of society calls for more violence. It is no longer an option. We will be expected to celebrate the killings of extremists. We will be expected to pledge ourselves to the state. We will be expected to consider our lives more important than the enemies’.
So what do we do when we are asked about our peace convictions? How will we respond? ThirdWay.com offers some helpful responses to some of the most pressing questions we may face. For instance, “Shouldn’t we stop murderers and terrorists so they don’t do more harm?” Also, “How can I enjoy religious freedom and other freedoms for which others fought if I am not willing to fight?” To read their responses to these questions and many others, follow this link.