This means war, what does war really mean? When all else fails and someone refuses to negotiate or determines that he/she is entitled to what rightfully belongs to another, then what can logically come next is a force of might and strength.
I just had a visit by two of the sweetest young Jehovah witnesses who were trying to preach the word of the lord and the discussion led to the necessity of armed conflict. The verse that they pointed to me was Isaiah 2:4 “He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” It made me think of what my son once said to me, that he was a pacifist.
My response was not as dignified as theirs, it was simply “war is necessary for peace”. I mentioned both the revolutionary and civil war but more appropriately it should have been Ecclesiastes 3:8 “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” or Zechariah 10:5 “They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses”, even God himself knows that sometimes war is the only resolution or path for peace, Revelations 12:7-11 “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death”
My personal belief is that we should be careful justifying our actions by scripture. While I believe that there is a God; as Blaise Pascal once said, (paraphrased) what’s the harm in believing, if he does exist then you go to heaven, which I hear is better than hell and if he doesn’t exist, you were a good person and people will remember you that way and not as some asshole who made life hard for everyone else because mommy and daddy didn’t give you that little red wagon that you wanted; that doesn’t mean that I’m allowed to go into anyone’s home and lay hands on anyone for any insane reason. But the point of pacifism crossed my mind. when my son said he was a pacifist, I immediately told him that the p word is a bad word like shit, bitch and motherfucker and taught him how to box, he has a hell of a right cross.
Pacifism has no place in society. No worth while person was ever a pacifist. If you can name one, then I’ll send you a crisp ten dollar bill, I write blogs, I’m not Bill Gates. Gandhi wasn’t a pacifist, King Jr. wasn’t a pacifist, no one really is a pacifist. Better yet, can you name me one person that, as these young ladies brought up, would allow the atrocities of WWII to occur? That would say, just let him do it, referring to Mr. Hitler, and let’s hope we get spared. As you can read in the scripture, God hates a coward and while King Jr. and Gandhi used different methods, they were just smarter in their strategy. They knew that all out war would only doom them and that using strategic non-violent methods to disturb the peace would be way more effective. They were brilliant generals in a societal war but they were no pacifist.
The true definition of pacifism is to go along with the status quo, to be content with what you are given and to do what they say and what they want. Let’s be real, our country isn’t built on pacifism or we would have been extinct a long time ago. The true nature of society is to improve our life in a way that conforms to everyone’s needs as a society and as individuals. We reach agreements on what’s right and what’s wrong and sometimes the 90% can be wrong and the 10% be right.
One of my favorite books, the Art of War by Sun Tzu described a philosophy of war. In one of his most notable quotes, (again I’m paraphrasing) is that a defeated foe should never be humiliated or he will be a foe for life, he should be allowed to leave the battlefield with dignity and he will be a friend for life.
So, back to the title of my article, is war necessary? Simply stated, yes. How would you know what peace is if there isn’t something that is it’s opposite. Peace can not exist without war as much as war could exist without peace. Some philosopher once said that conflict is the journey you must travel to get to peace. So my concept of war is simple, while we hope for a utopian society, since there are no opposites in that society, utopia can not exist. You ever heard one of these smart people say how would you know if you are happy if you are never sad, how would you know you have peace without conflict?