Pacifism needs updatingby Lisa Schirch, Harrisonburg, Va.
Melissa Florer-Bixler’s response to my article on pacifism misrepresents my work and writing (Letters, March). I do not think the church and state worked in a complementary way, nor do I subscribe to Calvinist beliefs.
The point of my article (“Confessions of a Modern-Day Pacifist,” February) was to encourage Mennonites to be more pacifist, not less. We should question and critique government and military policies and practices. But we should also point the fingers at our own lifestyles and in our own practices of calling armed police.
Pacifism needs updating because Mennonites living in North America do not face the same type of repression that they did in earlier empires. Many Mennonites pay taxes, use public services and call the police but then want to offer a purist critique from afar, without meeting government and military staff in person to share our different point of view. We can only be consistent in our pacifism if we look both at our own behaviors and lifestyles as well as those of the government.
As to Florer-Bixler’s critique that I am not Anabaptist: I have lived in Mennonite communities and attended and worked for Mennonite institutions my entire life. I believe my life and work fully attest to the Anabaptist identity I embrace.
Associated Issue: On a different track - February 2011
Associated Article: Confessions of a modern day pacifist
- Mother mourning
- Subversive women in the genealogy of Jesus
- Choosing to preach Christ
- Longed-for rain
- Honoring mother
- A letter to my daughter
- Wise men and subversive women
- Ironies and outrages: fasting to protest budget cuts to the poor
- Parenting as spiritual discipline
- All things new
- Early challenges to capital punishment
News stories, digests and Meno Acontecer
- TMail readers want news
- Four priorities may expand to seven
- No disciplinary action for WDC pastor
- Alcohol: A gift from God
- Tanzanian president orders 1,000 books by Shenk
- César García appointed general secretary of MWC
- MDS director shocked by tornado damage in Alabama
- WEB EXCLUSIVE: Meditation on the killing of bin Laden
- Seven awards for The Mennonite
- Young adults and retirees connect in Tucson
- Why are gas prices so low?
- MDS begins tornado clean up in rural Oklahoma
- SALTer learns Arabic sign language and Braille
- Ministering to CEOs and those living in poverty
- Digital edition coming
- News Briefs - May
- First certified Anabaptist educator
- Director of transformative peacemaking named
- Investing in hope: The hope encouraged by Scripture
- Must wars be fought to bring about peace?
- Ministry and money
- Beware of Big Brother and bias
- Are you a smart phone?
- Unconventional conventions?
- Conflicts without violence
- May film and book reviews