Pacifism, a noble ideal. Ghandi, Martin Luther King. Both achieved their goals through non-violent protest. They wore their oppressors down. They won the hearts and minds and minds of the people who accepted the status quo and thus, change was born. The Indians won their freedom and African Americans recieved their equality.
The first Christians went peacefully to the arenas of Rome. It is recorded that, they went to their deaths praying and singing praise to Christ as the Lions tore their flesh.
Slowly over 200 years Christ and the Holy Spirit's influence spread, as the persecutions increased until Constantine converted and the empire became Christian.
Christian Rome ruled, from the lonely isle of Britain, to the wastes of North Africa and Egypt. From Spain, to modern day Romania.
Sometime over the next several hundred years Rome collapsed in upon itself. Repeated barbarian invasions from Germany, eastern Europe, and Asia tore the ancient nation apart. The eastern empire, ruled from Byzantium (Constantinople) continued on until 1453 when it was conquered by the Turks. (Muslims)
The only vestiges of pacifism left in the world for the next thousand years were in the east. Various sects of buddism and other eastern mystic religions practiced pacifism.
In Europe different religious groups like the Amish and the Mennonites practiced pacifism. Perhaps the best known in the US were the Quakers. In the present day pacifism seems to be the politically correct thing to be. In liberal circles pacifism is almost worn like a badge of honor. Some talk it, others sincerely walk it. My friend Helen Losse at Windows Toward the World, I believe, is someone who truly walks it.
I believe pacifism is a wonderful ideal. The problem I believe, is that we live in a sinful world. There is always someone who wants to hurt another. A country that wants more. A religion who's creed is domination, or people who murder, rape and pillage in the name of that religion.
Who then, is here to protect the pacifists?