I hope his lecture made more sense than this article does. "Christian just war principles." "War is necessary in certain circumstances." "Christian ethics demand other alternatives." And of course, the obligatory, "not to immediately reach for a gun." The "we rushed to war" mantra. This joker has been singing from the hymnal for so long, the words no longer mean anything to him.
Duke professor speaks to students about pacifism
Renowned speaker Stanley Hauerwas said too many people are quick to turn to violence when conflict presents itself.
Rachel Delauder, Managing Editor, Collegiate Times
Renowned Christian theorist and self-titled “violent son-of-a-bitch” Stanley Hauerwas presented his lecture, “Sacrificing the Sacrifices of War” last night at 7 p.m. in Torgersen 2150. Named “America’s Best Theologian” by Time Magazine in 2001, the Duke Divinity School professor is known in the religious and political communities for his “unflinching” pacifism.
In a grandfatherly Texan accent, Hauerwas explained the need for non-violent alternatives to war, according to Christian just war principles.
“Part of what resistance means is not to immediately reach for a gun — because, as a Christian, you don’t have one,” he said. “We are so habituated into thinking the only way to deal with conflict is to turn to violence. The greatest sacrifice of war is not the sacrifice of life, but the sacrifice of our unwillingness to kill.”
While the lecture largely addressed resistance to war in general, Hauerwas also discussed the war in Iraq.
“Why are we in Iraq? Because American people don’t have to make any sacrifices in order to go to war as a country. We are asked to make a major tax cut, to shop and to be frightened as our main civic duties,” he said.
Hauerwas stated that he did not intend to attack the position of those who choose to go to war. He claims that war is necessary in certain circumstances, and it is deeply imbedded into our culture, but that Christian ethics demand other alternatives.
“Americans have got what we want: perpetual war. And the fact that Christians aren’t questioning it drives me crazy,” he said. (link)
What are those other alternatives? To do what we did so well in the 1980's and 1990's.
- Turn the other cheek when American sailors are slaughtered on board the USS Cole by Muslim extremists.
- Turn the other cheek when Americans are slaughtered in the World Trade Center bombing by Muslim extremists.
- Turn the other cheek when American Marines are slaughtered in their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Turn the other cheek when American citizens are slaughtered when embassies are bombed in Africa by Muslim extremists.
- Turn the other cheek when a crippled American is thrown over the side of a cruise ship - to his death - his only crimes being that he was American and a Jew.
And then there is the small matter of 9/11.
On September 11, 2001 we ran out of cheeks, Stanley.
Rush to war. Forgive me for having no patience for an aged, decrepit, and pitiable symbol of what got us to where we are today. "Renowned Christian theorists" had their chance over the last two decades to make the world a better place. Instead, through their pacivity and signals of weakness, they brought on the slaughter of innocent Americans. It gets them accolades from Time magazine (Does one really tout the fact that a pop cultural magazine who's audience is the nation's lowest common denominator considers you "America's Best Theologian?").
Peace and love. I will never be able to escape the 60's. These fossils will haunt me the rest of my life.