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The World Council of Churches (WCC) is preparing for the next round of its seemingly endless “Decade to Overcome Violence,” which is mostly about opposing America and the West. Stopping Islamist “violence” does not typically rank high on its agenda. This May it will convene a culminating “International Ecumenical Peace Convocation” in Jamaica. The “Decade” began in 2001 along with the United Nations’ “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.”
Over the last 10 years, the WCC has dispatched “living letters” i.e. Religious Left delegations that visited a host of countries, including the U.S. in 2007. The U.S. “letter” mainly visited with gun control groups, anti-Iraq War protesters, and agitated voices disgruntled over New Orleans slow recovery from Katrina. It’s not clear how anger over a hurricane’s wreckage, and the often botched federal effort to rebuild, qualifies as “violence.” But the WCC’s “Decade” is mostly about just being angry with the “empire,” i.e. the U.S.
Lest there be much doubt, one “preparatory event” for the upcoming Jamaica culmination was a “Peace Among the Peoples” convocation last Summer at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana. Sponsors included, besides the WCC, the U.S. National Council of Churches, the Mennonite Central Committee, the United Church of Christ, and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, which likely provided funding. Its official purpose was to “facilitate a truly ecumenical conversation that will encourage greater understanding among Christians on the morality of war.”
This “peace” jamboree, for which audio just became available, attracted a cavalcade of Religious Left and pacifist thinkers who quickly reached hearty agreement that most “violence” originated with the omniscient American “empire.” Featured speakers included Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University (America’s “best” theologian, according to Time magazine 10 years ago), emergent church guru Brian McLaren, Evangelical Left theorist Glenn Stassen of Fuller Seminary, and noted radical feminist theologian Rita Nakashima Brock.
Hauerwas is infamously anti-American and insists that all “violence” is wrong for Christians, even though nearly all churches for 2000 years have affirmed the apostolic teaching that the state is divinely ordained to wield the sword against evil. “The fact that Just War people get to call we pacifists unrealistic is just bull—-. I mean, let them pay up,” he disclaimed, with typical color, according to a report by my assistant Eric LeMasters. Like most modern pacifist absolutists, Hauerwas insists that no real situation could ever fully comply with Christian Just War standards, which raises the question why the Church ever bothered developing the standards at all. And like most pacifist ideologues of the Religious and Evangelical Left, Hauerwas discerns that the U.S. is intrinsically and irredeemably violent.
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