Why I Have a Baseball Bat By My Bed

Am I unarmed?  Well, I keep a baseball bat by my bed at home.

If someone comes into my house, I will confront them verbally.  If they come at me with threat, I will try to defend my wife and child while also keeping that person alive.  They are created in the image of God, after all.  If they are after my property, I would most certainly rather them live and take it than die and me keep it.  If they are after my wife and child, I will do what I can to stop them.  And if I end up taking their life, I will pray and mourn, because no man’s death is something to celebrate to me, no matter his intentions, especially if that death occurs while he is likely lost from the way of God, for then I have sent him to a most unfortunate judgement.
Continue reading

_Not Worth Fighting For_ Review: Part 5

The last chapter dealt with Hitler.

Chapter 5 deals with a question we might often overlook: “Must Christian Pacifists Reject Police Force?”

One reason it’s overlooked is that, until 200 years ago, military and police weren’t really seen as separate entities in most of the world.  They are both government agents authorized to use force, and even violence, if necessary.  The distinction remains important because, unlike war, police can truly “be accountable to legislative regulation” that “at least stands some chance of punishing only the guilty while protecting the innocent.”

In this chapter Schlabach first introduces the concept of nonviolent policing, which some people may regard as a joke.  How are police effective if they don’t use force?  But the same question could be asked of soldiering, perhaps.
Continue reading

_Not Worth Fighting For_ Review: Part 3

Chapter 2 discussed the hope of the resurrection and the life of Jesus as the core of Christian nonviolence.  We dealt with the question of helping a neighbor who is being attacked and how a Christian committed to nonviolence may handle such a situation and why.

Chapter 3 leaps right into a very very difficult question: “What would you do if someone were attacking a loved one?

I have a wife and a child.  I love them and want to protect them from evil.  Because of this, many things in this world are unsettling to me even more than they would be were I single and childless.  Whatever I believe and do, I must live like Christ.
Continue reading

_Not Worth Fighting For_ Review: Part 2

“Pacifism is not a monolithic stance or approach to war, violence, or politics.  There are varieties of it.”

The first chapter of the book distinguished between pacifism and passivity.

In chapter 2 D. Stephen Long deals with the difficult question “What About Protecting Third Party Innocents?  Can we just let our neighbors die?

Long doesn’t pretend all this is easy.  He’s a reluctant pacifist who came from a military family.  He doesn’t let us choose pacifism for some bogus reason.  He rejects that liberal pacifism where we just say we hate war but perpetuate the conditions that make war “necessary”.  He rejects the notion that war is bad because all soldiers are bloodthirsty savages.  Many soldiers are and have been decent, loving, exceptional, faithful people who seem to be incapable of harboring hate, and what we call good soldiering requires “self sacrifice, disciplined community, and moral attentiveness.”  He rejects the notion that pacifists are better because they don’t like war and everyone else does.  Practically nobody loves war (except immature American boys who play Call of Duty all day and think war would be fun).  Even the most battle-hardened want to avoid it, with few exceptions.  So we can’t reject violence for cheap reasons.
Continue reading