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Little Pacifism

Richard Beck spoke about something he names Little Pacifism on his Experimental Theology website. It’s so easy, in the name of peacemaking, to become angry and aggressive. I suppose this is just part of what it means to be human. However, if we hope to bring the Kingdom of God closer the earth (and to our neighborhoods) it just makes sense to start small, to start where we are. Let’s not behave violently, in the name of non-violence. And, by all means, let’s try to avoid being jerks whenever possible.

From the article:

I think one of the biggest failures of the pacifistic witness is when we don’t practice nonviolence in our personal relations. Pacifism is too often projected onto the global scale. The conversation becomes almost exclusively about war between political powers. And no doubt that’s an important conversation. But it can get a little abstract and philosophical. And some pacifists can be less than charitable toward others. Let’s call this big conversation heroic pacifism.

Me? I don’t think a lot about heroic pacifism. I probably should, but I spend most of my time thinking about violence in my personal relations, how I treat people–my family, people at work, people at church, people in the line at the store, commenters on this blog. My practice of nonviolence isn’t heroic in scale. I practice a little pacifism, a small pacifism. I try not to be a jerk.

Image by David Goehring. Sourced via Flickr.

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