Friday, March 25, 2005

In honor of Oscar

“I have often been threatened with death,” Archbishop Oscar Romero told a Guatemalan reporter two weeks before his assassination on March 24, 1980. “If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. If the threats come to be fulfilled, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality.”

On this 25th anniversary of the death of Oscar Romero, I am mindful that the global military machine is still alive and well. I am mindful that I've a son who will soon be in the crosshairs of relentless military recruiters. I'm further mindful of all of our children who are being courted to join in on the side of those who believe violence serves some noble purpose.

And so, in the memory of Fr. Romero, I pledge to take my stand against warmakers and for Peace and Justice. For Fr. Romero and for my son and daughter.


Anonymous said...

Pacifism causes violence. Discuss.

Dan Trabue said...

Don't be ridiculous. Violence causes violence. Indifference allows violence. Just peacemaking, non-violent resistence - which is what I'm talking about when I say pacifism - does not cause violence.

Just a guess, but I'd say you're probably talking about being passive, not being a pacifist. Even so, passivity only allows violence.

I return to my original statement: it is only embracing violence that causes violence. To suggest otherwise is to kill the concept of a common language. Orwell would love it.

Anonymous said...

you can be a successful pacifist against the English in India, or the white South, but not against people without morals. And we have those. Also, it is not violence to answer violence which pacifists that I know believe it is. Someone tries to kill my family, I kill them first, and that is not violence.

Dan Trabue said...

Define "successful."

I come at this from two directions.

First, for me as a follower of Jesus, I believe I ought to follow Jesus' teachings. Jesus clearly taught us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us. I will do so.

Secondly, as a citizen, I believe that pacifism works at least as well as meeting violence with violence. I would allow the possibility of self-defense against violence. However, I don't think that usually meeting gun with gun or blow with blow is going to be necessary or advisable.

Take a look at the young lady who used kindness and God's Word to talk down the man who murdered the judge in Georgia a couple of weeks ago. A soft answer turns away wrath, as the Old Testament says. Again, aside from the Christian angle, I just believe pacifism works.

Finally, aside from a very few people with mental conditions, you rarely run across "people without morals." That is a dehumanizing fiction invented so that warmongers can justify killing "those monsters."

There is, of course, a great deal written on this subject in better words than my poor mind can conjure. I might refer you to some of my earlier posts in this blog (from January), if you haven't already read them.

I quoted Joan Baez in one of those, I'll quote her again:
That pacifism is, indeed a failure and the only thing that has failed worse is War.