Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Christians and the problem of torture

ESR graduate Scot Miller is currently working to complete a Doctorate of Ministry at Western Theological Seminary. This is the second in a series of essays that are meant to contribute to that project. You can read the first essay, "Christian ethics from a biblical standpoint," here. You can learn more about Scot and his work here: and here:

Most Protestants are not familiar with Dirk Willems. In 1569, this Dutch Anabaptist was imprisoned for heresy after for receiving adult baptism. The story of Willems' martyrdom is one of the strongest of  such narratives because of the intensity of his witness to Gospel Order. It is not just that Willems died for conscience sake, but he saved the life of the jailer that was chasing him during an escape attempt. The jailer fell through the ice that covered the moat surrounding the jail. Willems, who was running to save his own life, turned back to rescue his pursuer. While his action saved the jailer's life, Willems was nonetheless burned at the stake.
Unless the hearer of this narrative is a member of an Anabaptist church, when this story is told the response is incredulity. Yet, it is just such a story that should be retold by every congregation who takes the gospel seriously. For it is in the gospel that we are made aware of Jesus' command to love our enemies, and that is exactly the command that is embodied by Willems' action. While few would find it difficult to applaud Willems' faithfulness, a majority of Christians would not say his way of loving an enemy is normative for the Christian faith.[1]
Of course, there is no “normative Christianity.”[2] However, Christendom seems to have become stagnant since the climax of the Second Great Awakening. Following the American Civil War, when both sides appealed to divine providence throughout the conflict, the church now seems more closely aligned with democratic ideals than the performance of ethics. It is difficult to distinguish the American church from the American project of democracy and the propagation of democracy.[3] To this end, the church has come to identify the nation state as a sort of Fidei Defensor and seems not to concern itself with matters of policy outside of those negotiated through the ballot box. If there is any kind of normative Christianity, it is characterized by its relationship to socio-political power and its ability the means by which religion might influence politicians to legislate in favor of a particular agenda with the public support of a church leader or denomination.
It is in this context that Christians are able to debate the use of torture as a tool of war. This should not be a one-sided criticism of right-wing religious leaders and organizations. I will propose that the political left-wing of the church as well, indeed the church as a whole, has strayed from its purpose despite many opportunities to embody the gospel during the so-called war on terror. For nowhere is there evidence of mass-resistance on the part of American Christians to any part of the war - or the use of torture - outside of participation in public marches of sorts, or furthermore, overt support. As the cross mandates that we bear our own, especially in coordination with our “demands” for justice, Christians in the United States seem troubled to voluntarily sacrifice in a public way that makes biblical reflections on war a topic of public discussion. It seems, the way that most Christians have dealt with the issues of war, economics, and even torture is to vote for the candidate of their choice and hope that government, or other Christians, come to their collective senses.[4]
In a 2006 poll commissioned by Mercer University and the organization Faith in Public Life, 57 percent of those identifying themselves as evangelical Christians indicated that, in some cases, they felt torture of combatants or detainees might be justified.[5] Christian ethicist David Gushee, who describes himself as an evangelical, wrote in Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics[6] that, while 37 percent of those polled responded that torture was justified “sometimes,” a 20 percent segment believe that it was justified “often.” It is a matter of observation that the George W. Bush administration was committed to placing evangelicals in very high positions, and that the administration was also fully engaged in pursuing legal justifications for the use of torture as an legitimate interrogation tool.
The fact is that the same tradition which produced Dirk Willem and others like him, who practiced an undeniably biblical ethic in response to evil, now produces leaders who consider torture a legitimate and necessary activity. Since the era of Constantine, political power has a substantial effect on the way in which Christians conceive of ethics. In the 21st century, Christian opposition to torture was not only isolated, but failed to address the issue in such a way that it will not return for consideration another day. There is moral failure on both accounts, if we agree that torture which occurs within the context of Christian leadership is a topic of debate. That failure is not evident in the fact that torture occurred – but that the church has become an institution that would underwrite a government's claim to such a right, or remain quiet as it occurs.
American Christians have pursued political power and, as a result, may have ceased to be relevant as a confessing body, ceased to reflect an ethic that gives meaning to Jesus' life and death, and ceased to offer an alternative to the present moral compass of a nation that identifies true north with political victory. I suggest that the church must maintain an ethic that understands the nation state may reserve the right to act outside of the boundaries of church ethics, and that in order for the church to be the church, it must nevertheless speak out against such actions and sacrifice privileges in order to be wholly non-compliant. Yet Christians must also offer comfort, solace, and alternatives to each and every person who falls victim to the ethics of domination, both victim and victimizer.
To begin, there must be some account of the evangelical defense of torture and a rejection of this account as being Christian in nature. It was indeed difficult to find fully committed defenses of torture in Christian periodicals. It also proved difficult to find any authors who used the biblical text to support torture. However, Gushee identifies a commonality in those evangelical Christians who either supported torture, or tacitly steered clear of the debate. As an engineer of a statement authored for the National Association of Evangelicals that condemned the United States policy related to torture of detainees, Gushee states that those organizations who refused to sign An Evangelical Declaration against Torture  were political supporters of the Bush administration and the Republican Party in general.[7] Some of these organizations included Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Family Resource Council, and a lone dissenting organization, The Institute for Religion and Democracy.  No signers of the condemnation were representatives of the Southern Baptist Conference, according to Gushee.[8]
“At a superficial political level, the split between those who signed [the statement against torture] and those who did not can be viewed upon political-ideological lines. The evangelical political right did not sign, the evangelical political center and left did.”[9] Gushee has written a book that suggests “an emerging evangelical center is competing with the right for the hearts and minds of American evangelicals. The fracture between these parts of the evangelical community is obvious and may be irreparable.”[10] As for biblical “support” of torture, Gushee found that political friends of the administration turned to Romans 13 as the most common, if not only, pericope to buoy their claims. God has chosen political leaders to use the sword against evil, thus, they deserve the support of Christians.
However, it is too easy to blame a right-wing political agenda for the church's relative silence on the issue. In fact, center to left commentators such as Gushee must accept some of the burden. He readily admits that a main objective of some evangelicals is to compete politically for adherents, thus legitimizing the negative discourse that occurs between those who claim to love their neighbors. It is saddening that both side of the political aisle not only refuse to worship in the same congregations in most cases, but regularly compare the other side and its leadership to Hitler and the Nazi Party.[11]
Yet, Gushee writes credibly on the issue of torture and the manner in which the Bush administration, from the top down, supported the torture of detainees. But he also admits that, when he first wrote in the popular evangelical magazine Christianity Today, though he felt it helped launch an “anti-torture” movement among evangelicals, that he had a regret.
“I regret a lack of significant christocentric argumentation. I ended the article with a reference to Jesus... but in an effort to speak to an evangelical community suspicious of 'sectarian' appeals to the model of Jesus and the radical demands of discipleship, and very much attracted to arguments based on government's mandate to use the sword to protect the innocent,  I avoided grounding my argument in Jesus Christ in any thoroughgoing or explicit way.”[12]

Gushee continues to believe, as stated in his post CT journal article, that there were “good, tactical reasons for this approach. And, while he regrets not formally asserting a “rule of Christ” ethic in the article, he provides an important insight in his reassessment of that strategic decision. He wrote “it is precisely our inadequate Christocentrism and Christomorphism that lie at the heart of our theological and ethical weakness as a religious community. Jesus Christ must be moved from the margins to the center of American evangelical ethics and public theology.”[13]
My belief is that Gushee made a tactical decision to avoid turning to the gospel witness as the foundation for his “arguments” against torture for two reasons that are major contributors to the crisis of Christian ethics. First, as he has already admitted, the battle over torture was not a battle over the propriety of torture of enemies as much as it was a presenting problem indicative a deeper evangelical commitment to political victory, and the maintenance of political power. While Gushee and other center-to-left evangelicals may adamantly be morally opposed to torture, they have chosen the political arena as the most appropriate venue for arguing Christian ethics, making it a political issue - and thus – one of debate between reasonable people without bounding the discourse within a “rule of Christ.” Second, the very fact of opening the issue to debate legitimizes a process that continuously makes it possible to consider torture as a response to evil. As an alternative to debating the ethics of torture, those who assert that torture is immoral must necessarily refuse to benefit from an apparatus that engages in such activity.   An Evangelical Declaration against Torture[14] did not explicitly invite Christians to do as much.
Though the final document produced by the National Association of Evangelicals undoubtedly illustrates why Christians should not affirm torture as a legitimate means of gathering information, it fails to commend to readers any actions which might be interpreted as “cross-bearing” in response to the fact of torture. The lengthy statement organizes its argument in a manner that affirms such virtues as the sanctity of all human life, love for enemies, and even legal concerns, but nevertheless refuses to assert the necessity of embodying the gospel ethics that it cites as arguments against torture. There are no life-affirming activities that are recommended as example of loving one's enemies, or acting as peacemakers. There are no suggestions as to how members of the military might respond to orders concerning torture. There are no calls for the Church to change the nature of its relationship with the government or the military outside of the call to end torture. There is no question of the legitimacy of the “war on terror,” only the question of torture. It presents an entirely negative ethic supported by affirming verbage. Was there a consideration that, if one is to use specific biblical arguments against torture, they might be led to consider the very nature of Christian participation in war, if not only the war in Iraq.

The idea that “cross-bearing” or voluntary sacrifice is a sectarian ethic has much to do with the problem of Christian ethics and the fact that an “evangelical” president could consider torture a legitimate act. Just as Gushee stated that he feared his anti-torture opinion might be marginalized as a “sectarian” ethic, there is reticence about any commendation of a Christian ethic that requires an act of self-emptying of privilege. While Christians will argue fairly strongly that war is often required to defend innocent people from suffering, it is rare that Christian ethicists or pastors will suggest that forgoing privilege and political or economic power is an appropriate action that will prevent war, or change the nature of the way the church thinks and speaks about war, or, its enemies.
It is primarily the ethic of power, or a critique of such ethics, that drives the rest of this essay. I suggest that while the Christian ethic embodied by Dirk Willems is representative of a biblical, Christ-centered ethic, such an ethic has not only been relegated to the place of individual witness, but the very suggestion that it might be passed down as representative of a corporate Christian ethic would be viewed as a threat to the church's legitimacy in the world. At the present time, evangelicals and a vast majority of American Christendom will not only reject a call to give up political and economic privilege, but would insist that the church has a responsibility to maintain and fully engage the world from a position of political power. However, if the church maintains political power, it not only legitimizes the argument that torture is open to debate, but it makes any attempt to articulate a biblical, Christ-centered ethic unintelligible. The church will no cease to be Christian.
Political power demands moral perspectives that consider the responsibilities of power. The hermeneutical lenses through which the gospel is interpreted are colored by the responsibility of the state, monarch, or military as opposed to the nature of the cross. However, shouting that the reign of Constantine brought the church into a permanent state of apostasy does no one any good, and limits the conversation to shrill assertions. At this point, I turn to a 2006 article written by Rabbi J. David Bleich in Tradition entitled Torture and the Ticking Bomb.[15] His article shows exactly how religious leaders can arrive at the conclusion that, in very specific circumstances, engaging in an immoral act may be legitimized when it is part of a process of saving lives, or, may be excused by a jury of peers who understand the action was part of an obligation to protecting innocents despite its categorization as immoral. Such is the nature of how Christians come to support war as a normative activity, and, as an extension, will support torture as a potentially necessary act of faithfulness at some point in the future.
Bleich spends significant space ensuring the reader that torture is indeed immoral in nearly all circumstances. In fact, he agrees that torture is immoral in all but those moments deemed most critical, such as when information is needed in order to save a large portion of a populace from a bomb that is set to go off at any time. (Of course, television used just this scenario in episodes of a series dubbed 24) In his article, Bleich uses the Hebrew Bible and rabbinical commentators to show that if one can undoubtedly save the lives of many by torturing one person to get the information necessary to save them, one has, if not acted in a morally sound manner, earned protection from prosecution due to the individual's obligation to save lives as is made possible by the occasion.[16]
The fact that such a scenario is dubious from the beginning is not necessary to this argument, only that Bleich does a rather complete and convincing job of arguing that as long as we make policy that bans torture, an individual who tortures when motivated to save numerous lives at the last second can be forgiven post-facto. He argues that in such a circumstance, while torture is an illegal act, and even remains illegal despite the acquittal of the individual who uses torture:
There is a striking precedent for such a moral stance in our contemporary judicial practice. For good reason, the various American jurisdictions have declined to legalize euthanasia. Yet in the few cases of mercy killing that have been brought to trial, by and large, juries have refused to convict or have found the defendant guilty of a lesser charge than homicide and, even when the defendant is found guilty, judges have mitigated the punishment. Thus the pristine moral value is preserved in theory while, when warranted, the harshness of its application is mitigated in practice.[17]

A Christian commentator might recognize Bleich's argument as being similar to that of civil disobedience. An individual does what he or she is directed by conscience to be the right thing to do despite its obvious illegality, with a significant difference being that civil disobedience is intended to point out the oppressive or immoral nature of a law, and is intended to facilitate the overturning of the law so that the activity is no longer considered illegal. Bleich intends for torture to always be illegal, and even prosecuted. Nevertheless, Bleich makes what is undoubtedly a reasonable argument on behalf of excusing a torturer from legal consequences if it can be shown that the action saved lives, and that the action was undertaken solely for the purpose of saving lives, and not what Bleich continues to condemn in his article:[18] activity undertaken with an eye toward “'punitive torture' and 'intimidative torture,'” which, in his mind, are “morally indefensible and repugnant in the extreme.”[19]
Bleich's argumentation can obviously be used in the political realm, and while a purely secular argument might make use of his conclusions as an example of religion underwriting the possibility of justifiable torture, it stands on its own as a justification for such a possibility within the context of Jewish moral and religious tradition. One can see how, with the obligations of power and political responsibility being considered, a Christian could support such a claim. However, from a biblical, christocentric point of view, when one considers the overwhelming themes of self-emptying and voluntary sacrifice – of cross-bearing – it becomes much harder; not to consider whether torture is an option, but rather, for a Christian, could it ever be possible to make such a choice.[20]
Because of the nature of sin, torture is always a possibility when an individual or group finds themselves wielding power over another individual or group. Such is the case if one is to consider Bleich's defense of torture in the most specific cases. However, a community of interpretation will find it difficult to arrive at a place where it is possible to torture if they read the Greek Scriptures in a manner that is every bit as reasonable as Bleich's exegetical methods, if not the methods approved by the Christian right and left. Such an hermeneutic community would first have to interpret relevant texts in a manner that allowed for coercive political practices or militarism to be an option.
The story of Jesus and his acceptance of the cross as the indicator of the success of his ministry demonstrates a religious ethic that displays the following: Jesus assumed a leadership role that challenged injustice without committing any act of coercion or violence in response, despite the existence of circumstances that would justify the use of violence.
 Jesus ministered in his homeland, which suffered the status of an occupied territory. More specifically, he ministered in a land that his kin believed was promised by God to them as a fulfillment of divine promises to their ancestors. Not only was the promised land illegally occupied, but that occupation defied God's will. Finally, Jesus ministered in a religious environment that not only assumed that militarism was a means in which God would restore the glory of Israel, but read texts and shared stories of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucids that served as a reminder of the potential for armed revolt to liberate the oppressed.
Jesus did not rally disciples around a central idea that Rome must be driven out of the occupied promised land, but around an idea that they must embody a different ethic as an alternative to the domination of Rome, and, as an alternative to dominating Rome or driving her out. In response to the evil of the Roman occupation and a corrupted religious hierarchy, Jesus practiced, and is remembered as calling for his disciples to practice the eschewing of political, economic, and social power in favor of an ethic of  community building and servanthood to both friend and foe, and agreeing to suffer a penalty of death in order to point out the injustices committed by those who had power and economic control.
The tradition of Jesus shows that, when there was an opportunity or suggestion to use power or violence, he immediately rejected that option, though Jesus never failed to stand up against injustice and call for the powers to repent. Jesus not only operated from a position of socio-economic and political weakness, he insisted upon rejecting the use of force as an alternative. In the second chapter of Philippians, Paul shows that this was not only an ethic unique to Jesus, but a community ethic that was established as the standard for Christian response to injustice, and, abusive power.
Such a distinction between the ethics of power and the ethics of servanthood is important in a culture that generally challenges individuals or communities with “either-or” situations. This does not hold true. A Christian ethic, as concerns the issues of war, and even torture, places the adherent in a position where he or she, or they, refuse to participate in war, and have no power to torture. There is of course some nuance that needs to be unpacked here, but the ethic is as follows – a Christian ethic is based purely on the embodiment of the gospel record – living one's life as a member of community, and as an individual, that engages in peacemaking, in lovingly lifting the oppressors burden, in developing egalitarian communities that show no preference for wealth, gender, or race, and, to live with an aim toward emptying the self of any privilege that might serve to marginalize or embrace the victimization of another, or, “the other.” Loving God and neighbor, and loving even the enemy, become the normative lifestyle of both individual and community in a manner that makes it impossible to go to war, as one will already be negotiating for peace.
As for moral issues such as torture of enemies, the following is very important. Because the gospels, the New Testament corpus, and the manner in which we receive the gospels is that of a corporate nature, it becomes the purpose and main activity of a congregation or gathering of disciples to read and then embody, or live out, the corporate interpretations. The question of what one is to do or how one is to act in a manner that reflects a gospel or Christ-centered ethic is a question that is addressed corporately by a body of interpretation. The concern for an overarching reading that advises all Christians in a unifying manner is not only not possible, but unfavorable, because such an overarching reading of any text will lead to a position of power, or the possibility of garnering power. Such power, and the attempt to acquire such power, is hard to reconcile with the text when a small group with limited power, and the call to reject privilege address the text through such a hermeneutic.
Does this mean that Christians will never torture? No, but since torture of enemies is hardly an ethic that is evident in the Christian text, a decision to engage in such an activity automatically supposes another, non-christian ethic that an individual may voluntarily choose to abide by, even if his or her congregation or group rejects it as an appropriate task. The Christian ethic is voluntary, so while an individual may eschew the Christ-centered interpretive activity of loving one's enemies by feeding them and providing drink, they may choose an alternative, secular or military ethic by which to abide. Such a decision automatically rejects the Christian path in favor of another. A Christian may choose to torture, but in doing so, may automatically render his claim to be a Christian moot. She may indeed find herself barred from participation in her congregation or group until she repents of her engagement with the world through adherence to the secular ethic.
Such is the nature of Matthew 18:15 – 22. This pericope not only suggests that a community of believers sets a standard for the behaviors, or, the ethic of its constituents, but mandates something far more important than establishing a standard of ethics. The verses mandate a standard of forgiveness, much like the secular finding of “not guilty” that Bleich demands above for the individual who tortures another as a matter of conscience. The significant difference being that the very practice of a Christian ethic with the biblical mandate to self-emptying and socio-political weakness would make it very hard for a Christian to be in a position to carry out any ethic other than that of peacemaking and lovingly changing the heart of the enemy or oppressor through the maintenance of personal and corporate dignity. We can see how this plays out in the sense of Dirk Willems, but what about another scenario, one that Bleich himself describes, and is reminiscent of the last episodes of the television series M.A.S.H.?[21]

Bleich writes in the aforementioned article that in order to save the lives of many, one life may have to be sacrificed. He uses the example of Jews in a secret hiding place, or, any group of people in immanent threat of death that are in hiding, being in danger of having their presence or hiding place betrayed by a crying baby. It seems to Bleich (and others), that it may be necessary to stop the baby from crying by any means necessary in order to save the larger group from  discovery, and, certain death. In other words, taking a life is immoral, but the sacrifice of just one in order to save many may still be a necessary task. Indeed, one might suffocate the child while attempting to keep it quiet so the cries will not betray others.[22]
Like being in a position to torture, may God forbid human beings should ever be placed in such a situation. However, unlike the torture scenario brought to life by others, there have been instances of making heart-wrenching decisions about the lives of others such as the crying infant. The Christian narrative, which is also a Jewish narrative, makes sense of such a situation, and so does the history of the church's early martyrs. Christians, at our core, should understand that voluntary sacrifice is sometimes necessary in order for others to live, even if it results in our own death. How heart-wrenching it is to make a decision to take a life of one on behalf of many. However, such decision can be redeemed when that sacrifice is our own on behalf of others. One who reads Christian history will know that martyrs often took their children to martyrdom with them, as they knew of the vindication that would follow.[23] Early Christians sacrificed themselves and took their children with them because they had faith that their actions would be vindicated. Of course, the situation where a child might be sacrificed rarely ever occurs, but perhaps more often than a situation where one might be able to torture life-saving information, that was accurate, out of another human being. The question of what Jesus might do, however, should already be answered.

[1]John Howard Yoder, The Priestly Kingdom, (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 1984), 16. Yoder, The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster, Second edition (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1994), 4-8.
[2]Stephen Sykes, The Identity of Christianity, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), 3. “Christianity is an essentially contested concept.” John Caputo, however, states that it might be possible to entertain the notion of a foundation upon which to build a way of “doing” Christian ethics. He writes that a good starting place is the attempt “to restore the difficulty of life, not to make it impossible.” Radical Hermeneutics: Repetition, Deconstruction and the Hermeneutic Project (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987), 209.
[3]Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willemon, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1989), 32: “We believe both the conservative and liberal church, the so-called private and public church, are basically accomodationist in their social ethic. Both assume wrongly that the American church's primary social task is to underwrite American democracy.”
[4]Ibid., 26. The results of such behavior is that the church finds itself relegated to the margins of a discourse that can only deal in an ends justify the means vicious circle, or simply capitulates to an ethic that is deemed to be necessary to the success of democracy. For example, Hauerwas and Willemon write “President Roosevelt issued an urgent appeal to all governments, at the beginning of World War II, saying 'the bombing of helpless and unprotected civilians is a strategy which has aroused the horror of all mankind. I recall with pride that the United States consistently has taken the lead in urging that this inhuman practice be prohibited.'.” Consider also Paul Ramsey, who criticizes Christian pacifism by citing Helmut Gollwitzer to paint a rather skewed portrait of non-violence by writing that pacifists “leave to non-Christians that very secular task which requires the greatest love and unselfishness, namely, the use of force...” Paul Ramsey, “Is Vietnam a Just War?” in War in the Twentieth Century: Sources in Theological Ethics, edited by Richard B. Miller, (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992), 186.
[5]Faith in Public Life, “Release of Poll on Southern Evangelicals Attitudes on Torture,”  September 11, 2008, (retrieved July 28, 2014).
[6]David P. Gushee, “What the Torture Debate Reveals about American Evangelical Christianity,” in Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 30, no. 1 (Summer, 2010): 79-97.
[10] Gushee, The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008).
[11]Gushee cites Mark D. Tooley, "The Evangelical Left's Nazi Obsession," The Front-Page Magazine, (October 30, 2008): republished with permission on the Institute on Religion and Democracy website: == 818&srcid= 198
[12]Gushee, "Five Reasons Why Torture Is Always Wrong," in Christianity Today Vol.50, No. 2, February 2006, 33-37.
[14]National Association of Evangelicals, An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror, (2012):, (retrieved July 28, 2014).
[15]J. David Bleich, “Torture and the Ticking Bomb,” in Tradition, edit. by The Rabbinical Council of America, Vol. 39, No. 4, 2006, 89-121.
[16]Ibid., 107ff.
[17]Ibid., 95.
[19]Ibid., 89.
[20]This is an important consideration for establishing what I will later call “the messianic ethic.” Utilitarianism and other “choice and decision-based situational ethics” suggest that there might be a variety of options, one of which will serve the most people in the most palatable manner. Hauerwas writes that the Christian ethic, if it is to remain biblical and Christian, should not offer the opportunity to make choices between one ethical choice and another, but instead calls upon adherents to find creative ways to maintain a particular ethic. For instance, when reflecting upon the practice of abortion, he suggests that the major question is not whether Christians should support such a practice, but whether or not they create a community which provides the care necessary to make abortion unintelligible. “Morally the most important things about us are those matters about which we never have to make a 'decision'. Thus the nonviolent persons do not have to choose violence or nonviolence, but rather their being nonviolent means they must use their imaginations to form their whole way of life consistent with their convictions.” Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics, (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 1984), 125. In another essay, Hauerwas insists that Christian pacifism has little to do with a kind of eschatological vision of creating a world without war, but instead states that “Christian pacifism, that is, a pacifism determined by the reality of Christ's cross, assumes we must be peaceful not because such peace holds out the hope of a world free from war but because as followers of Jesus we cannot be anything other than peaceful in a world inextricably at war.” “On Being a Church Capable of Addressing a World at War: A Pacifist Response to the United Methodist Bishops' Pastoral 'In Defense of Creation',” in The Hauerwas Reader edited by John Berkman and Michael Cartwright, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001), 431.
[21]Alan Alda and Karen Hall et al“Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” M.A.S.H. television series, (New York: CBS Corporation, 1983).
[22]Bleich, 101.
[23]Evidence for this claim is largely legendary.

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