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Subject:  War - My Inner Struggle Date:  4/5/2002  9:35 AM
Author:  Bonhoeffer Number:  78166 of 199237

I am torn. Let me elaborate.

I am a pacifist at heart. I want to be completely non-violent, to denounce all wars and all killing, and to preach the virtues of love. I believe that is consistent with Christ's message for humanity. Christ himself never advocated violence in any situation, never condoned any war. When people attacked him, he did not fight back, even to the point of letting himself be killed.

But can that work for all Christians? I wonder (and remain unconvinced), are we right or wrong for doing what we're doing in Afghanistan? Part of me feels dirty on behalf of all the killing we've done of Taliban and Al Quaeda soldiers. But another part of me wonders if there was any other option. If we didn't react swiftly to an attack on the level of the 9/11 bombings, if we didn't go in and crush those who did this, would they not keep doing it? I wonder how pacifist it is to let terrorists have their way, killing who they please whenever they please.

I want peace. But can that be achieved without forcibly stopping men like Bin Laden? I am so conflicted. Any words of wisdom from other would-be or actual pacifists? Any thoughts on how to reconcile violence with Christ's teachings? Any sageful advice at all?

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