Online Forum: Pacifism and Peace

One of the most important testimonies of the Quaker faith is peace. In times of war, Quakers have a long history of being conscientious objectors and are still active in varying forms of nonviolent protest. A familiar banner outside meetinghouses says, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

But what does it mean, both individually and as a society, to work toward peace and justice? Are there circumstances in which “fighting” or “violence” is justified, even necessary?

As we approach yet another election season, these questions about peace, violence, and the direction of our country become all the more evident as Friends consider whom to cast their vote for in the midst of economic hardships, healthcare legislation, unemployment and, of course, raging gun violence across the country.

From the small scale—a bully picking on a child—to the large—a politician taking a stand about the use of weapons and/or military force, how do you interpret the Quaker testimony of peace?

Please share your opinions, your personal stories, and even the questions you have with regard to this issue.

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