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Author Topic: Syria: Christians take up arms for first time  (Read 3550 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: September 22, 2012, 10:15:31 AM »

I have to come down on the side of the Christian militia on some of the key points being raised here. Joining the Syrian army is unlikely to be a real option for the militia fighters. Taking a passive role is probably also not a good idea. The Christians' only hope is for the rebellion to be suppressed, and that means taking an offensive strategy. Their other option is to flee the country, which might be the more Christian thing to do, but there's no way I can blame them for taking the course of action that they've chosen. Being a refugee is a really, really bad life.

Bear in mind, however, that these militias must be tiny in proportion to the number of refugees.

The whole situation still makes me very uncomfortable, and any insinuations about Habte or Gebre or whomever someone was referring to being cowards will not make me back down.
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« Reply #91 on: September 22, 2012, 01:24:51 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

...we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.

When you engage a target that is attempting to kill or rape another person, if you stop shooting when the stop their attack, that's self defense. If you keep shooting, that's "eye for an eye."

BTW, if they point their weapon at you, they have not stopped their attack.

By the way, if you actually had read the article and the quotes you would realize that forward military operations can never be called self-defense, and you should be ashamed of instigating more violence by outright lies and manipulation of the facts.  These militias are not standing around shooting people who are attacking them, they are going out and attacking other militias, provoking the potential for even MORE violence in retaliation and retribution.  Soldiers do what their leaders tell them according to planning, militias are like street gangs, they bicker, they quarrel, they loot and pillage, they have dangerous in-fighting.  Look at Iraq or more recently in Libya and see just how successful arming the community and forming vigilante militias has been for those countries.  Now people fight each other more and more.  What, perhaps the Melkites will begin fighting the Syriac Orthodox, but instead of swinging brooms like at the Church of Nativity, they will be with weapons? Lord have His mercy!!! Sad Sad Sad



I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

Dude, this is the 21st century, we have professional military for good reason. Those old timers and old school volunteer militias didn't operate in a world of machine guns, rocket launchers, high explosives, military aircraft, digital communications etc etc.. Its not common folks business to run off and fight wars any longer because war is different than it was then, that is what soldiering if for.  If folks like yourself are so inclined to fight, then join the service.  This is not 1863 at Gettysburg, and its not appropriate, heroic, or romantic for civilians to fall in like John Burns at the Battle of Gettysburg.  When civilians play hero, they make it dangerous for the professional soldiers on the field, and they make it dangerous for the rest of the civilian population.  When militias fight each other, that is no war at all, it is chaos.  I will reiterate it again, if Syrian Christians want to join the fighting, they should join the military, receive training, and join the organized fighting.  Otherwise, they are just vigilantes, and aside from being against international laws of modern warfare vigilantism is dangerous to the community at large Sad

By the way, I'm not as soft as you may be thinking, and if you were running around playing soldier in my neighborhood putting my family and neighbors at risk, getting out of your way is probably the LAST thing I'd so Wink





I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

For centuries common folk fought alongside their nation's armies, and really, if you think about it all a conscript is is a commoner called a professional and given the weapons thereof.  So you are right, not old fashioned.


I am aware of the military successes of insurgency, but it comes with the cost of collateral damage in every country where it was successful, it also cost many civilian lives because civilians and combatants become indistinguishable. I am sorry, but as a man, I would not think it very brave or heroic to be putting women and children at the risk of air strikes and chemical attacks, simply so I can run around playing cowboys and indians with a borrowed AK-47 which was given to me by God knows who.  You bravado crowds seem to forget that (a) vigilantism and using civilian drawn militias is a war crime in the 21st century and (b) a tactic which has ALWAYS cost civilians lives, the very civilian lives just vigilante militias pretend they are protecting Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 01:38:33 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: September 22, 2012, 03:40:34 PM »

war is a sad choice not easily made for all reasonable persons involved, however the blanket pacifism statements are naive at best and hypocritical at worst. there is no rejoicing in picking up arms, however there comes a time that one has to make a choice that involves not only the self but also the community's survival and the protection of their way of life. hopefully war is the last option on that list of options yet it is an option and a valid one at that.

I am sure those who say they are opposed to all kinds of violence, will not call 911 if their kid was being raped mutilated, their wife butchered and they had the option of dialing 911 and calling the boys with the gun to do the dirty deed of stopping the crime with deadly force if necessary. or perhaps they had the opportunity of stopping the perpetrators themselves using deadly force yet they will simply look on because of their principles. I regard it as a crime but it is still a choice they have. now the Syrians who are Christians have every right to defend themselves from sensless violence, and distruction of their way of life. I am an Ethiopian, I know that war is not something one advocates easily, yet when it is something unavoidable to protect what one must die protecting then you give it your all but always keeping in mind what you are fighting for. because its not only knowing what you are killing that is important, but what you allow to live!

It is easy for the right reasons to be highjacked by the wrong ones, that is ever more present in the chaos of war, however the right reasons are important enough to fight for, that includes fighting against the highjacking of the cause of the struggle one is engaged in by forces that will replace one evil by another. so like all things it is complicated, but could also be part of the solution although it is never the only solution.

May the Lord protect the People of Syria and bring them peace out of this chaos, and Syria to be the peaceful home of all her citizens.

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« Reply #93 on: September 22, 2012, 04:27:45 PM »



I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.

I would also be interested to hear Ergib's.  It would be useful information for a theory of mine.

"When Abune Petros came to the place execution and was given to say his last words, he took his hand cross and removed the blue cloth that was rapped around it and blessed the people at the four corners of the world and said the following last words: "My country men do not believe the fascists if they tell you that the patriots are bandits, the patriots are people who yearn for freedom from the terrors of fascism. Bandits are the soldiers who are standing in front of me and you, who come from afar, terrorise and violently occupy a weak and peaceful country: our Ethiopia. May God give the people of Ethiopia the strength to resist and never bow down to the fascist army and its violence.  May the Ethiopian earth never accept the invading army’s rule.” After that a swarm of bullets from the execution platoon pierced and killed our beloved bishop Abune Petros." http://www.ethiopians.com/abune_petros.htm

I hope and pray that i will never have to face this kind of situations in my life.

When it comes to myself, i would rather be killed than kill. However, i'm not strong enough to see my family being murdered. Therefore, i will fight back only if my family are with me. This is my current view on this matter.....it could change as i spiritually grow.
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« Reply #94 on: September 22, 2012, 04:56:37 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think a lot of emotionalism and hyperbole have distracted the discussion here. This isn't about debating the philosophies and ideals of pacifism, this is about Christian militias arming themselves.  At this point, lets get back to the OP article. It didn't say Syrians were arming themselves (i.e. individually) to defend themselves, it said Syrians had joined up militias and are conducting forward military operations.  Can we in good conscience and integrity call such behavior SELF-DEFENSE?  I can agree with so many posters concerns about defending their families, I have been in that situation before, I understand completely.  However, there is a world of difference between arming yourself to defend your families from terrorist attacks, and by going out and conducting forward military operations to attack the terrorists preemptively.  Honestly, is this the wisest decision considering the potential for collateral damage and retaliatory strikes and can we still call it defense at all?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #95 on: September 22, 2012, 07:20:56 PM »

Wow! Really??? are the Christians acting without provocation, without being attacked, are they just simply hunting those they deemed enemies preemptively (I.E. without being attacked only with assumption of threat)? Is this what we read from the article? Perhaps it's a different article that is being discussed, other than the OP. because what I read on that article says quite a different story.
So let us look at the article then for the sake of those who have difficulty comprehending the article i will rearrange the order of some of the paragraphs …

Quote
The Christian community has tried to avoid taking sides in the civil war. In Aleppo, it recruited vigilantes from the Boy Scout movement to protect churches, but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas.

Quote

The Christians want to defend their neighborhoods, Shabiha regime militia are there to kill and rape,


Quote
For the past six weeks up to 150 Christian and Armenian fighters have been fighting to prevent Free Syrian Army rebels from entering Christian heartland areas of Aleppo.

Now the Area in question that had some accusing the Christians as being the area where the Christians were  attacking preemptively rather than in self defense...


This area:
Quote
the historic Christian quarter of Jdeidah.


Quote
The area, defined by its boutique shops, narrow cobbled streets and the spires and cupolas of the Maronite, Orthodox and Armenian churches, had over the weeks become infiltrated with sniper positions and checkpoints, residents said.


Quote
Last month the Syrian army claimed a ‘victory’ in removing FSA fighters from the historic Christian quarter of Jdeidah. But Christian militia fighters told the Daily Telegraph it was they who had first attacked the FSA there

Now why would the Christians attack the FSA before the syrian army does? because they were being killed and could not wait for the Syrian army to come and defend them what exactly was going on in that Christian neighborhood to the Christians living in there we may ask. Here a priest gives us his testimony so does George.

Quote
FSA snipers were on the rooftops and they were attacking the Maronite church and Armenian residents there,” said a former clergyman calling himself John, now in Beirut, who said he had witnessed the battle.

Quote
“The FSA were hiding in Farhat Square in Jdeideh. The Church committees stormed in and cleansed the area. Then the Syrian army
joined us. They claimed the victory on State television,” said George, who like many Christian refugees is too scared to give his full name. “The rebels were threatening the churches.”


The few Syrians who are Christians are making their last stand for their right to live in their motherland against jihadists and others who wish to expel them or kill them all. As the Armenian mother of four and several other Christian refugees are giving their personal account of the situation.


Quote
“They are shouting ‘the Alawites to the graves and the Christians to Beirut,” said an Armenian mother of four who recently fled the city – a claim also made by several other Christian refugees.


So now tell me, are these some war mongering lunatics who are looking for war where it has not come to their doors? Are they preemptively striking others where they have not been attacked and forced into action? How can we who read this article say in good conscience say that these are preemptive strikes and therefore not self defense and by conclusion warmongering actions? Those horrific realities they are facing are given account of by themselves; it is not a fabricated emotional hyperbole by any one of us in here. Perhaps it’s better to pay attention to what the article reports and what  the Syrians and the Armenians say before accusing them of such callous things. I wonder if this is not another example of ….NVM

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« Reply #96 on: September 22, 2012, 07:39:30 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

...we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.

When you engage a target that is attempting to kill or rape another person, if you stop shooting when the stop their attack, that's self defense. If you keep shooting, that's "eye for an eye."

BTW, if they point their weapon at you, they have not stopped their attack.

By the way, if you actually had read the article and the quotes you would realize that forward military operations can never be called self-defense, and you should be ashamed of instigating more violence by outright lies and manipulation of the facts.  These militias are not standing around shooting people who are attacking them, they are going out and attacking other militias, provoking the potential for even MORE violence in retaliation and retribution.  Soldiers do what their leaders tell them according to planning, militias are like street gangs, they bicker, they quarrel, they loot and pillage, they have dangerous in-fighting.  Look at Iraq or more recently in Libya and see just how successful arming the community and forming vigilante militias has been for those countries.  Now people fight each other more and more.  What, perhaps the Melkites will begin fighting the Syriac Orthodox, but instead of swinging brooms like at the Church of Nativity, they will be with weapons? Lord have His mercy!!! Sad Sad Sad



I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

Dude, this is the 21st century, we have professional military for good reason. Those old timers and old school volunteer militias didn't operate in a world of machine guns, rocket launchers, high explosives, military aircraft, digital communications etc etc.. Its not common folks business to run off and fight wars any longer because war is different than it was then, that is what soldiering if for.  If folks like yourself are so inclined to fight, then join the service.  This is not 1863 at Gettysburg, and its not appropriate, heroic, or romantic for civilians to fall in like John Burns at the Battle of Gettysburg.  When civilians play hero, they make it dangerous for the professional soldiers on the field, and they make it dangerous for the rest of the civilian population.  When militias fight each other, that is no war at all, it is chaos.  I will reiterate it again, if Syrian Christians want to join the fighting, they should join the military, receive training, and join the organized fighting.  Otherwise, they are just vigilantes, and aside from being against international laws of modern warfare vigilantism is dangerous to the community at large Sad

By the way, I'm not as soft as you may be thinking, and if you were running around playing soldier in my neighborhood putting my family and neighbors at risk, getting out of your way is probably the LAST thing I'd so Wink





I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

For centuries common folk fought alongside their nation's armies, and really, if you think about it all a conscript is is a commoner called a professional and given the weapons thereof.  So you are right, not old fashioned.


I am aware of the military successes of insurgency, but it comes with the cost of collateral damage in every country where it was successful, it also cost many civilian lives because civilians and combatants become indistinguishable. I am sorry, but as a man, I would not think it very brave or heroic to be putting women and children at the risk of air strikes and chemical attacks, simply so I can run around playing cowboys and indians with a borrowed AK-47 which was given to me by God knows who.  You bravado crowds seem to forget that (a) vigilantism and using civilian drawn militias is a war crime in the 21st century and (b) a tactic which has ALWAYS cost civilians lives, the very civilian lives just vigilante militias pretend they are protecting Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
If I ever need to wage war against someone, I'm going to look for someone exactly like you.  All I have to do is show up and I've already won.  Super easy day!
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« Reply #97 on: September 22, 2012, 09:03:11 PM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.

Are you sure? I find it difficult to take aim at my fellow man when my face is prostrated before holy icons. And are not all human beings icons of Christ?


Selam

Gebre,
Do you believe that war is always wrong? Was joining te Allies in WWII wrong?
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« Reply #98 on: September 22, 2012, 10:00:02 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think a lot of emotionalism and hyperbole have distracted the discussion here. This isn't about debating the philosophies and ideals of pacifism, this is about Christian militias arming themselves.  At this point, lets get back to the OP article. It didn't say Syrians were arming themselves (i.e. individually) to defend themselves, it said Syrians had joined up militias and are conducting forward military operations.  Can we in good conscience and integrity call such behavior SELF-DEFENSE?  I can agree with so many posters concerns about defending their families, I have been in that situation before, I understand completely.  However, there is a world of difference between arming yourself to defend your families from terrorist attacks, and by going out and conducting forward military operations to attack the terrorists preemptively.  Honestly, is this the wisest decision considering the potential for collateral damage and retaliatory strikes and can we still call it defense at all?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I am going to come right out and say it . . .you have no idea of what you are talking about.  I guess a coward like you thinks that it is better to be rounded up and killed like a dog than to actually put forth any effort to your defense.  Whether my family is killed by a stray bullet or bomb, or whether they are rounded up and shot because they happen to be different than those attacking them, they are equally dead.  Also, going out and weakening the enemy BEFORE he gets to your family is a far better tactic than waiting until he is at your front door to engage him.  Where did you learn your tactics?  Obviously not from anyone who actually knows anything.  You talk about those of us who care enough about our family and friends to defend them as though we are "cowboys".  Well we are not.  On the other hand, you are a coward, and even more despicable because you hide your cowardice behind religion.

This is what I believe, and I do not care if I get a green meatball for it.  I am tired of you sanctimonious pseudo religious BS.
 You are being warned for 21 days, for being insulting & using ad hominem to make an argument.  If you would like to appeal this warning, you can PM me directly. 

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« Reply #99 on: September 22, 2012, 10:14:15 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I think a lot of emotionalism and hyperbole have distracted the discussion here. This isn't about debating the philosophies and ideals of pacifism, this is about Christian militias arming themselves.  At this point, lets get back to the OP article. It didn't say Syrians were arming themselves (i.e. individually) to defend themselves, it said Syrians had joined up militias and are conducting forward military operations.  Can we in good conscience and integrity call such behavior SELF-DEFENSE?  I can agree with so many posters concerns about defending their families, I have been in that situation before, I understand completely.  However, there is a world of difference between arming yourself to defend your families from terrorist attacks, and by going out and conducting forward military operations to attack the terrorists preemptively.  Honestly, is this the wisest decision considering the potential for collateral damage and retaliatory strikes and can we still call it defense at all?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I am going to come right out and say it . . .you have no idea of what you are talking about.  I guess a coward like you thinks that it is better to be rounded up and killed like a dog than to actually put forth any effort to your defense.  Whether my family is killed by a stray bullet or bomb, or whether they are rounded up and shot because they happen to be different than those attacking them, they are equally dead.  Also, going out and weakening the enemy BEFORE he gets to your family is a far better tactic than waiting until he is at your front door to engage him.  Where did you learn your tactics?  Obviously not from anyone who actually knows anything.  You talk about those of us who care enough about our family and friends to defend them as though we are "cowboys".  Well we are not.  On the other hand, you are a coward, and even more despicable because you hide your cowardice behind religion.

This is what I believe, and I do not care if I get a green meatball for it.  I am tired of you sanctimonious pseudo religious BS.

I am sorry you feel that way, I can only pray for us all in this regard.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #100 on: September 23, 2012, 04:34:54 AM »



I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.

I would also be interested to hear Ergib's.  It would be useful information for a theory of mine.

"When Abune Petros came to the place execution and was given to say his last words, he took his hand cross and removed the blue cloth that was rapped around it and blessed the people at the four corners of the world and said the following last words: "My country men do not believe the fascists if they tell you that the patriots are bandits, the patriots are people who yearn for freedom from the terrors of fascism. Bandits are the soldiers who are standing in front of me and you, who come from afar, terrorise and violently occupy a weak and peaceful country: our Ethiopia. May God give the people of Ethiopia the strength to resist and never bow down to the fascist army and its violence.  May the Ethiopian earth never accept the invading army’s rule.” After that a swarm of bullets from the execution platoon pierced and killed our beloved bishop Abune Petros." http://www.ethiopians.com/abune_petros.htm

I hope and pray that i will never have to face this kind of situations in my life.

When it comes to myself, i would rather be killed than kill. However, i'm not strong enough to see my family being murdered. Therefore, i will fight back only if my family are with me. This is my current view on this matter.....it could change as i spiritually grow.

It is clear who the peacemakers on this thread are. I am grateful to you Ergib for his honest, humble, and Christian answer. It is very sad that some people here would use this tragic situation as an excuse to politic for their rationalizations of violence. Human lives and human freedoms are at stake, and war and bloodshed are not mere hypotheticals for philosophical speculation. As Habte alluded to earlier, violent conflict is not a sport that Christians should cheer on from the sidelines in partisan fashion. And even those who choose to pick up the sword should do so without hatred and animosity for their adversary.

Apparently there are some members of this forum who are indeed holy enough to violently kill without hatred or animosity. In fact, they are so holy that they can bear the very sword that Our Lord condemned. But I confess that I am not such a holy man. I have too much of my own salvation to work out without wasting time trying to kill my neighbor. But for those who have attained such a profound theosis that they feel holy enough to slay their brethren, then who am I to condemn them? God is the Judge, and may He be merciful to me a sinner. And if I beseech His mercy, then why would I not extend mercy even to my enemies? (Forgive me for my “false piety” here, of which some have accused me from time to time. I trust that God knows my heart, and I am confident that He will correct it.)

Now, shame on those of you who call the practitioners of nonviolence "cowards." For in condemning nonviolence, you condemn Christ Himself. And shame on you for calling our holy father St. Moses the Ethiopian - who chose to be killed rather than to kill (and also chose to allow some of his fellow monks to be killed along with him) - a coward. Shame on you for deliberately misrepresenting Orthodox Christian pacifism as a passive, non-confrontational, allowance of evil. Shame on you for insinuating that we would sit idly by as our families, friends, or brethren are tortured, raped, or killed. But for those of you that may honestly misunderstand my pacifist position, I will explain it once again so that you will not be confused or falsely malign me as others here have frequently done. (And BTW, I am only articulating my own position, not Habte's or anyone else's. Although Habte has routinely demonstrated a spirit of peace and reconciliation on this forum, and for that I truly commend him.):

1. I prepare every day to fight evil and injustice, wherever it may be found, beginning with the evil and injustice in my own heart.

2. I prepare to fight militantly with every spiritual weapon that is at my disposal, following the teachings and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ above all else.

3. I pray for the strength, courage, and grace to offer my own life in sacrificial martyrdom on behalf of the unjustly oppressed without using premeditated violence against my fellow man.

4. I prepare not to kill. But preparing not to kill does not mean that I will not instinctively react to forcefully defend myself or my loved ones if unjustly attacked.

5. If my commitment to nonviolence and my refusal to intentionally kill anyone for any reason results in my own death, the death of my loved ones, or the death of my fellow Christians, then I am confident that God will honor and preserve our souls unto eternity. However, if I slay the heathen, then I am not confident that their souls will be blessed by God for eternity. So, I tremble at the thought that in taking the life of another I may actually be condemning their souls to an eternity separated from God. As St. John Chrysostom said, "Our career is to make the dead live, not to make the living dead.”

6. If violence is ever necessary to save innocent lives, and if killing unjust oppressors is sometimes an act of Christian necessity, then certainly such justifications apply to the issue of abortion. No human beings on the face of the earth face such torture, injustice, oppression, and certain death as the unborn children that are about to be aborted. But somehow, for some reason, those Christians who defend the use of violence don’t feel any compulsion to use violence in defense of the unborn. So I ask, who are the real cowards?

Now, in conclusion...

If peacemaking is wrong, if nonviolence is the sin of cowardice, if forgiveness and love for our enemies is indeed a violation of the Christian gospel, then bring forth evidence from the entirety of the New Testament, submit clear confirmation from the Lives of the Saints, and let a tome of attestations from our holy Church fathers emerge. Persuade me that Our Lord - in offering His own life on the Cross - was the epitome of cowardice and naïveté. Persuade me that it is more honorable to kill than to forgive. Persuade me that it is more Christian to hate than to love. Persuade me that God actually turns His back on the innocent victims of unjust violence, and therefore our swords alone are their only hope of salvation. Persuade me that in killing our enemies we will somehow save our enemies’ souls. Persuade me that might does in fact make right, and that the meek shall ultimately inherit hell. Persuade me that Our Lord commanded us to turn the other cheek only so that we can reload our weapons. Persuade me that Our Lord commanded us to bless those who persecute us only so that they might drop their guard and become easier targets for our bullet. Persuade me that the Christian no longer needs to slaughter bulls and goats to attain salvation, but he nevertheless needs to slaughter his fellow man. Persuade me of these things, and I will take up arms tomorrow. But until then, I cannot take up arms, for my arms have taken up the Cross.

“Lord have mercy.”
(Do we really mean this when we pray it?)


Selam
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 04:39:12 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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Don't enlist. Don't deploy.
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« Reply #101 on: September 23, 2012, 05:30:46 AM »

Gebre, I am actually substantially in agreement with what you say in this post, but the judgmental tone of a lot of it kind of puts me off from agreeing with you totally.

It is clear who the peacemakers on this thread are.


^ Stuff like this.

Quote
It is very sad that some people here would use this tragic situation as an excuse to politic for their rationalizations of violence.


And where is this going on? In this thread? The context we are talking about is a civil war, which is inherently political. Nobody really gets to sit it out, even if they never touch a gun. Why? The militias (of all sides) know who is who, and know what they want. It's no different than what we always get in these situations: So and so is with so and so, and against so and so, and if you don't come down somewhere, then you're prey for all factions anyway. So what do you do? Often the choice has been to flee, die, or fight. None of those are to be undertaken lightly, and I haven't seen where anyone in this thread advocated such for political (or other) reasons.

Quote
Human lives and human freedoms are at stake, and war and bloodshed are not mere hypotheticals for philosophical speculation.


Indeed. The Christians in Syria, whether they pick up guns or not, know this much better than you or I. Are you sure you want to judge them for their decision, just because it doesn't match with your viewpoints expressed from thousands of miles away?

Quote
As Habte alluded to earlier, violent conflict is not a sport that Christians should cheer on from the sidelines in partisan fashion.


This would ring a lot less hollow if you didn't just judge a whole bunch of people you don't know for coming to a different conclusion and action than you think you would, when they're the ones who have to deal with the consequences and the violence no matter what they choose or what you think about it. Last time I checked, judging people was a partisan activity.

Quote
Apparently there are some members of this forum who are indeed holy enough to violently kill without hatred or animosity. In fact, they are so holy that they can bear the very sword that Our Lord condemned. But I confess that I am not such a holy man. I have too much of my own salvation to work out without wasting time trying to kill my neighbor. But for those who have attained such a profound theosis that they feel holy enough to slay their brethren, then who am I to condemn them? God is the Judge, and may He be merciful to me a sinner. And if I beseech His mercy, then why would I not extend mercy even to my enemies? (Forgive me for my “false piety” here, of which some have accused me from time to time. I trust that God knows my heart, and I am confident that He will correct it.)

Okay, then I won't say "false piety", but...I have no way to finish this sentence...  Undecided Suffice it to say that it is not a "waste of time" to defend your family from marauders in Syria, whether it comes down to taking a life (Lord have mercy) or not. These people are not picking up guns because they're out of other things they could be doing, but because they've done everything else to avoid having to do that and it has not worked. It is indeed a terrible, and rapidly degenerating, situation. Please do not turn it into another show of how other people must be in order to be able to do this or that. None of us have any way of knowing what is in anyone else's heart, whether in a war zone or not.

Quote
Now, shame on those of you who call the practitioners of nonviolence "cowards."


The presentation of a good idea in a perhaps less-than-relatable way leads often to this kind of reaction. It is not cowardly to be non-violent, but just the same it is not advisable to hold to absolutes in a situation that does not directly affect you. I pray that none of us would ever take a life or experience what it is to lose someone, but unless or until you're there, all the platitudes about who is further along in Theosis to be doing this or that or whatever leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think you're cowardly, but I don't think you're appreciating the gravity of the situation in the first place, either, because you're not there so you can't (just like the rest of us).

Quote
For in condemning nonviolence, you condemn Christ Himself.


I'm not condemning nonviolence. I'm condemning making other peoples' struggle to live into a soapbox from which to preach the moral superiority of your long-distance certitude, whether you are for or against violence as an option when faced with conflict. My grandfathers fought the Nazis all the way across Europe and they didn't do it by dropping reminders of why violence is bad on the Germans. On the other hand, my father didn't fight the Vietnamese, but it wasn't really based on any higher principle (he just didn't want to go there and possibly die in a stupid war he didn't believe in). The world is complicated...I think Christ knows that. Smiley

So I don't condemn any of them. I'm proud, in fact, that some in my family actually put their money where their mouths were and did their small part to beat the fascists and stop the spread of their genocidal evil. It's more than I've ever done with my dumb opinions on the internet, that's for darn sure. (One of them, by the way, was a field medic...a more peaceful, Christlike profession you'd be hard-pressed to find in a war zone.)

Quote
If peacemaking is wrong, if nonviolence is the sin of cowardice, if forgiveness and love for our enemies is indeed a violation of the Christian gospel, then bring forth evidence from the entirety of the New Testament, submit clear confirmation from the Lives of the Saints, and let a tome of attestations from our holy Church fathers emerge.


Are all of these things necessarily equivalent? Is peacemaking by necessity nonviolent, or violence necessarily the absence of forgiveness and love for our enemies? To put it another way: If you break into my residence and try to kill me, I'm going to fight back, but not because I hate you, or do not wish peace for you, or would not forgive you if possible.

Quote
Persuade me that Our Lord - in offering His own life on the Cross - was the epitome of cowardice and naïveté. Persuade me that it is more honorable to kill than to forgive. Persuade me, etc., etc., etc.

Why should anyone here have to persuade you of anything that no one has claimed? You've created these ideas yourself by assuming that those who differ from your opinion on this matter are convinced that such binary/black & white dichotomies actually exist. Reality, my friend, is very rarely so clear cut. I would hope that you would know that, and not turn Christianity into demagoguery for the sake of appearing pious in the face of challenges that, after all, you yourself are not facing.

I posted this story from the desert fathers originally in another thread, but I think it fits here, too:

One day Abba Isaac went to a monastery. He saw a brother committing a sin and he condemned him. When he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell, and said, 'I will not let you enter.' But he persisted saying, 'What is the matter?' and the angel replied, 'God has sent me to ask you where you want to throw the guilty brother whom you have condemned.' Immediately he repented and said, 'I have sinned, forgive me.' Then the angel said, "Get up, God has forgiven you. But from now on, be careful not to judge someone before God has done so.'
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 05:33:57 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #102 on: September 23, 2012, 05:59:32 AM »

Gebre, I am actually substantially in agreement with what you say in this post, but the judgmental tone of a lot of it kind of puts me off from agreeing with you totally.

It is clear who the peacemakers on this thread are.


^ Stuff like this.

Quote
It is very sad that some people here would use this tragic situation as an excuse to politic for their rationalizations of violence.


And where is this going on? In this thread? The context we are talking about is a civil war, which is inherently political. Nobody really gets to sit it out, even if they never touch a gun. Why? The militias (of all sides) know who is who, and know what they want. It's no different than what we always get in these situations: So and so is with so and so, and against so and so, and if you don't come down somewhere, then you're prey for all factions anyway. So what do you do? Often the choice has been to flee, die, or fight. None of those are to be undertaken lightly, and I haven't seen where anyone in this thread advocated such for political (or other) reasons.

Quote
Human lives and human freedoms are at stake, and war and bloodshed are not mere hypotheticals for philosophical speculation.


Indeed. The Christians in Syria, whether they pick up guns or not, know this much better than you or I. Are you sure you want to judge them for their decision, just because it doesn't match with your viewpoints expressed from thousands of miles away?

Quote
As Habte alluded to earlier, violent conflict is not a sport that Christians should cheer on from the sidelines in partisan fashion.


This would ring a lot less hollow if you didn't just judge a whole bunch of people you don't know for coming to a different conclusion and action than you think you would, when they're the ones who have to deal with the consequences and the violence no matter what they choose or what you think about it. Last time I checked, judging people was a partisan activity.

Quote
Apparently there are some members of this forum who are indeed holy enough to violently kill without hatred or animosity. In fact, they are so holy that they can bear the very sword that Our Lord condemned. But I confess that I am not such a holy man. I have too much of my own salvation to work out without wasting time trying to kill my neighbor. But for those who have attained such a profound theosis that they feel holy enough to slay their brethren, then who am I to condemn them? God is the Judge, and may He be merciful to me a sinner. And if I beseech His mercy, then why would I not extend mercy even to my enemies? (Forgive me for my “false piety” here, of which some have accused me from time to time. I trust that God knows my heart, and I am confident that He will correct it.)

Okay, then I won't say "false piety", but...I have no way to finish this sentence...  Undecided Suffice it to say that it is not a "waste of time" to defend your family from marauders in Syria, whether it comes down to taking a life (Lord have mercy) or not. These people are not picking up guns because they're out of other things they could be doing, but because they've done everything else to avoid having to do that and it has not worked. It is indeed a terrible, and rapidly degenerating, situation. Please do not turn it into another show of how other people must be in order to be able to do this or that. None of us have any way of knowing what is in anyone else's heart, whether in a war zone or not.

Quote
Now, shame on those of you who call the practitioners of nonviolence "cowards."


The presentation of a good idea in a perhaps less-than-relatable way leads often to this kind of reaction. It is not cowardly to be non-violent, but just the same it is not advisable to hold to absolutes in a situation that does not directly affect you. I pray that none of us would ever take a life or experience what it is to lose someone, but unless or until you're there, all the platitudes about who is further along in Theosis to be doing this or that or whatever leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think you're cowardly, but I don't think you're appreciating the gravity of the situation in the first place, either, because you're not there so you can't (just like the rest of us).

Quote
For in condemning nonviolence, you condemn Christ Himself.


I'm not condemning nonviolence. I'm condemning making other peoples' struggle to live into a soapbox from which to preach the moral superiority of your long-distance certitude, whether you are for or against violence as an option when faced with conflict. My grandfathers fought the Nazis all the way across Europe and they didn't do it by dropping reminders of why violence is bad on the Germans. On the other hand, my father didn't fight the Vietnamese, but it wasn't really based on any higher principle (he just didn't want to go there and possibly die in a stupid war he didn't believe in). The world is complicated...I think Christ knows that. Smiley

So I don't condemn any of them. I'm proud, in fact, that some in my family actually put their money where their mouths were and did their small part to beat the fascists and stop the spread of their genocidal evil. It's more than I've ever done with my dumb opinions on the internet, that's for darn sure. (One of them, by the way, was a field medic...a more peaceful, Christlike profession you'd be hard-pressed to find in a war zone.)

Quote
If peacemaking is wrong, if nonviolence is the sin of cowardice, if forgiveness and love for our enemies is indeed a violation of the Christian gospel, then bring forth evidence from the entirety of the New Testament, submit clear confirmation from the Lives of the Saints, and let a tome of attestations from our holy Church fathers emerge.


Are all of these things necessarily equivalent? Is peacemaking by necessity nonviolent, or violence necessarily the absence of forgiveness and love for our enemies? To put it another way: If you break into my residence and try to kill me, I'm going to fight back, but not because I hate you, or do not wish peace for you, or would not forgive you if possible.

Quote
Persuade me that Our Lord - in offering His own life on the Cross - was the epitome of cowardice and naïveté. Persuade me that it is more honorable to kill than to forgive. Persuade me, etc., etc., etc.

Why should anyone here have to persuade you of anything that no one has claimed? You've created these ideas yourself by assuming that those who differ from your opinion on this matter are convinced that such binary/black & white dichotomies actually exist. Reality, my friend, is very rarely so clear cut. I would hope that you would know that, and not turn Christianity into demagoguery for the sake of appearing pious in the face of challenges that, after all, you yourself are not facing.

I posted this story from the desert fathers originally in another thread, but I think it fits here, too:

One day Abba Isaac went to a monastery. He saw a brother committing a sin and he condemned him. When he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell, and said, 'I will not let you enter.' But he persisted saying, 'What is the matter?' and the angel replied, 'God has sent me to ask you where you want to throw the guilty brother whom you have condemned.' Immediately he repented and said, 'I have sinned, forgive me.' Then the angel said, "Get up, God has forgiven you. But from now on, be careful not to judge someone before God has done so.'

I confess that my tone may seem judgmental. I will try to do better. But in all my expressions of my nonviolent convictions, I have never dared to specifically condemn individuals or groups of individuals that have used force to defend themselves or to defend the innocent. In fact, many advocates of violence have actually condemned me for refusing to personally condemn those who kill abortionists. I consistently condemn any and all acts of premeditated violence - be it offensive or defensive - as contrary to the teachings of the gospel. But I don't dare condemn individuals or groups of individuals. I, however, have been personally condemned as cowardly, falsely pious, judgmental, etc. for my pacifist views.

And I still await the answer to one basic question: If violence is sometimes necessary to save the innocent, then why don't the unborn deserve to be rescued by violent force?


Selam
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 06:00:26 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

"Don't register. Don't vote.
Don't enlist. Don't deploy.
Don't take oaths. Don't say the pledge.
Pray to God, and start a revolution instead!"
Selam, +GMK+
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« Reply #103 on: September 24, 2012, 12:36:49 AM »


I confess that my tone may seem judgmental. I will try to do better. But in all my expressions of my nonviolent convictions, I have never dared to specifically condemn individuals or groups of individuals that have used force to defend themselves or to defend the innocent. In fact, many advocates of violence have actually condemned me for refusing to personally condemn those who kill abortionists. I consistently condemn any and all acts of premeditated violence - be it offensive or defensive - as contrary to the teachings of the gospel. But I don't dare condemn individuals or groups of individuals. I, however, have been personally condemned as cowardly, falsely pious, judgmental, etc. for my pacifist views.

And I still await the answer to one basic question: If violence is sometimes necessary to save the innocent, then why don't the unborn deserve to be rescued by violent force?


Selam

Gebre, there is no 'may' in your tone sounding judgmental.  I won't push the issue, but there it is.

I will not condemn anyone who uses force to end abortion.  I won't join them because I have too much in this life to loose.

Look at Ergib's post.  She desires peace, but does not condemn those who fight for it.  She admits that she would kill before seeing her family murdered.

See, the problem here is sanctimony.  She got her point across without it.  Our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering over there and while I may not go over there and fight the war for them I will never pompously judge them for doing what they have to do to defend their families.  You want to fight with spiritual weapons?  Here's one for you - "And for our Christ loving armies.  Lord Have Mercy.  And that the may subdue every adversary.  Lord Have Mercy."

Today in Church along with everyone else I prayed with the priest that all Christ loving armies subdue their enemies. 

If they want to convert, cool.  If they want to stay muzzie heretics but stop abusing Chrstian peeple, fine.  If God wants to send down flaming plasma from the heavens to consume them all, then Glory to God.  But if it is His will that our brothers defend their friends and families with a rifle then may God make their bullets more lethal than He did Samson's donkey-jawbone.

Selam, through superior firepower.
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