This column is dedicated to my dad, Michael Moreland, who introduced me to the writing of Wendell Berry and who gave me the essay that inspired this piece. This essay also ran on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum
Until very recently, if you had asked me to describe my spiritual and intellectual leanings on the matter of warfare, I would not have described myself as a pacifist. In fact, I have distanced myself from pacifism in conversations with various friends and intellectual sparing partners, choosing instead to be counted among the students of the Christian just-war tradition; to my mind this provided a tidy loophole that allowed me to be in favor of violence that prevents greater violence, establishes justice, or wins a greater, longer-lasting peace.
I’ve changed my mind. Now I am a pacifist.