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Monday, November 8, 2010

Warrior in a Mennonite Community

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."
Mahatma Gandhi

I just returned from a speech I did in a place called Niverville, Manitoba.

Its Mennonite country, peaceful, pacifist (and that's not a bad word).

Germans and Ukrainians that escaped the horror and persecution of a Europe going up in flames and landed in the thick black soil of Southern Manitoba.  As all the countries of the world dug in and began to prepare for battle the Mennonite community rallied with their cause of peace.

The funny thing is the warrior, the soldier is the first to want peace.
End of wars.
End of horror and the end of suffering.
We don't want to kill someone but we know sometimes we have to.
Warriors also want to know that they can do the job that they have been trained to do for years.
They look at a battle and see the two way gun range and now know that when they have to..... they can do their jobs.

They protect the innocent, their friends, their comrades and their own lives, they make no apology for it.  A warrior looks at the death of someone as horrible but if its to protect the innocent it becomes justified.

There seems to be a Canadian morality in war.

The Tibetan government had an army that attempted to stand up to the Chinese invasion and was slaughtered but allowed time for the Dali Lama to escape to India.  History is filled with times that the warrior stands up to those that can't or won't fight.

That is ok.
We do our job so the rest of Canadians don't have to.

It's hard to believe we have been at war for 10 years.

There is no rationing of food or fuel.  The only desperation's that the civilian public sees is the fallen soldiers coming home.  Its depressing.

It's hard on us too but for other reasons.

One of the greatest Canadian success as a society is that we are at war and no one notices.

I stood on the stage of this small prairie town.  In a new long term care facility they had built with donations and no government funding.  Its typical of the prairies to just do it.  If someone can't or won't help then you build it and do it yourself.

That same mindset is in the soldier.  Somehow there can be kinship between a pacifist and a warrior.
We understand each other.

Truly peace.

"The warrior archetype has to do with the natural male realities of passion, inner drive, and the desire to achieve and protect. In and of itself, warrior energy is not bad."
Scott Brubaker-Zehr is pastor at Rockway Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ont.

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