Civil Disobedience or just Naughty Christians?

Hope FM, a Christian radio station in Sydney, Australia, broadcasted an interview with Jarrod McKenna earlier this week. Here’s the blurb:

Four anti-war protestors risked their lives recently, by entering defence land at Shoalwater Bay in Queensland, during live firing and bombing exercises.

They were attempting to halt a major military training operation, called Talisman Saber. The peaceful protesters were arrested, and fined for trespass and obstruction.

What’s unusual about these protesters is they were all Christians – two women and two men, including Reverend Simon Moyle, a young Baptist pastor from Urban Seed in Melbourne, and Jarrod McKenna – founder of the Peace Tree community in Western Australia.

They call themselves the “Bonhoeffer Four”

Listen Now – Christian peace activist Jarrod McKenna dicusses civil disobedience

5 thoughts on “Civil Disobedience or just Naughty Christians?

  1. That was certainly a long interview, but well worth listening to. I felt McKenna expressed himself well, and I found myself agreeing with many of his points.
    I especially liked his response to the one question, in which he pointed out that he’s not advocating doing nothing. I remember having a similar conversation with a Christian back in late 2001/early 2002. We were talking about America’s response to terrorism and I was critical of our government’s plans at the time. A friend eventually exclaimed, “Well, we can’t just do nothing about it!” At that point, I simply pointed out that I had never proposed that we do nothing, merely that we needed to find a better approach. My friend immediately admitted that he had effectively put words into my mouth with his reaction and the conversation went from there.
    But it just goes to show that to many people, the military/offensive option is the only way to deal with the problem. I find that kind of tunnel-vision troubling.


  2. Yes, that McKenna can talk, but he spoke well.
    It’s amazing how many people confuse pacifism with “passiveness”. Particularly since so many of us get called “activists”.
    The “we can’t just do nothing about it” comment also highlights the ethical bankruptcy of much so-called Just War talk. According to the Just War theory, war is supposed to be the “last” option. But when anything other than military action is seen as “doing nothing”, well, such talk reveals the truth, that war is their “only” option, in flat contradition of Just War theory.


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