Vladimir Putin and strict pacifism’s false comfort

March 25, 2014

Faith & Action, War and Peace

By Charles Redfern

Cross published on the Huffington Post.  The full article is found here.

It’s suddenly clear. We now see why Eastern European countries hustled in their NATO applications after the Berlin Wall tumbled: Mother Russia is a brooding matriarch coveting the children she once kidnapped, and Vladimir Putin stands in the tsarist lineage of thuggish, self-appointed successors of the Byzantine Caesars. Bare your chest and steal Crimea — and throw in that 97 percent vote as homage to yesteryear’s Soviet elections.

Obviously, a U.S. military strike is out of the question, but Putin reminds me why I reluctantly sympathize with fourth and fifth-century Christian theologians in their abandonment of strict pacifism, which historians Peter Brock and Thomas Paul Socknat define as “an unconditional rejection of all forms of warfare,” including self-defense. Goths and Visigoths marauded, culminating in Alaric’s sack of Rome in 410. Christians, once persecuted, now held high governmental positions with obligations to guard their citizens. Their moral dilemma: How do we handle sociopathic tyrants? Such bullies thank their enemies for the olive branches and then brandish them as whips. Think of Nero, Genghis Kahn, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, Slobodan Milosevic, and Charles Taylor. Think of Ted Bundy with an army.

For the rest, click here

 

Advertisements
, , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is an ordained clergyman specializing in healing and conflict transformation. He lives with his wife and son in Connecticut.

View all posts by Charles Redfern

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: