American churches can contribute enormously by seeing how pathologically dysfunctional war is rapidly becoming. Let them affirm the psalmist’s contention that “the war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save” (33:17). Churches have a special obligation to point out that “God’n’country” is not one word, and to summon America to a higher vision of its meaning and destiny.Via Speaking to the Soul - From “Beyond War” in A Passion for the Possible: A Message to U.S. Churches by William Sloane Coffin (Westminster John Knox Press, 2004):
Churches all over the world must see to it that nonviolence becomes a strategy not only for individuals and groups, but one taught to governments. If arms reductions are to become more likely and wars less so, then new measures have to be devised for conflict resolution. . . . Mediation must become the order of the day. Every nation should abandon its claim to be a judge in its own cause. Nations must learn to listen to one another, to affirm the valid interests of adversaries, to cease judgmental propaganda, to heed international law. We must replace the concept of national security with that of common security, an understanding that the security of countries cannot be imagined separately, for none is really secure until all are secure.
(Flag graphic courtesy of catholicanarchy.org.)
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