Christianity, Nonviolence & War
This episode is a reprise of a webinar that the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship produced in March of 2022 in response to and out of concern for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Nonviolence is often interpreted as passivity in the face of violence. So how do we avoid the saccharine solution of “thoughts and prayers” in times like this? None of us has all the answers, but we are seeking clarity and understanding while being faithful followers of the Prince of Peace. That is why we have two wonderful people to help us get this conversation started:
The Rev. Deborah Lee
- Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human
Integrity dedicated to immigrant justice and ending the criminalization of
people of color.
-A founding member of Women for Genuine Security, the US partners in the International Women’s Network Against Militarism which seeks to hold the U.S. government accountable for the violence, sexual exploitation, economic and environmental effects of U.S. militarism in the many countries which host U.S. bases.
- She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ
Rick Ufford-ChaseRick lives on traditionally Abenaki lands in northern Vermont. Among a number of hats that Rick wears, he is a co-founder and co-director with Rev. Ashley DeTar Birt of the Center for Jubilee Practice, an organization dedicated to moving religious communities in the United States to take concrete acts of healing, repair, and reparations - particularly in response to enduring, systemic injustice perpetrated with the blessing of or in the name of Christianity. Rick has been a lifelong peace activist committed to nonviolent direct action and accompaniment to those whose lives have been turned upside down by war. And we should also note that Rick was the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) from 2004-2006.
As Christians we claim to follow the Prince of Peace and yet, we have to admit, the Christian church has been involved in and/or supported the Crusades and many wars throughout history. Ask almost any Christian and they will tell you they believe in peace and nonviolence. And yet, in times of war, especially when we see the suffering and death of innocent people, we are tempted to carve out exceptions to the use of war and violence.
If you are interested in learning more about what it means to be a Peace Church, you can find information and the curriculum HERE.
If you would like more information about the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, please visit us HERE.