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Troublesome pacifists

I spoke in Meeting yesterday for the first time in a long while. I don't remember precisely what I said, but the gist of it, two long-past conversations, seems worth sharing.

When I was in high school, a friend of mine - perhaps he'd seen Spartacus recently? - objected that Christ's crimes seemed awfully weak for a full-scale crucifixion. He hadn't preached armed insurrection, or any of the kinds of things Romans typically worried about.

A few years ago, at a conference lunch, I'd mentioned this blog, and the conversation after went something like:

Are you Quaker?


Aren't they pacifists?

Well, mostly...

So if they're pacifists, why do they cause so much trouble?

I didn't have a proper answer for him, but maybe the conversation helped. It was kind of the opposite of the earlier conversation, but at the same time not exactly.


"So if they're pacifists, why do they cause so much trouble?"

Friend Simon,

I posted my version of a response to this question on the Bad Quaker Bible Blog http://badquakerbible.blogspot.com/2011/04/you-stay-here-and-be-alert.html before I saw your piece here.

My own words are in response to George Lakey's talk at FGC last year, as published in the Nov 2010 issue of Friends Journal. Lakey talks about the 17th century Quakers being deliberate troublemakers, because "Conflict warms us up. It makes available things that otherwise are very hard to achieve."

Jesus did the same.

Blessed Be,

Aren't they pacifists?

Well, mostly...

But there does not to be much interest in cultivating a Christian pacifist witness. It seems more a tradition that is accepted and lived with, but not much interest in actually learning about it.