|Screen capture from film Einstein and Eddington.|
We Friends are free to seek to persuade others of the efficacy of our position -- warranted by our Quaker witness that 'all people are equal', and that 'there is that of God in every person'. We also strongly oppose all possible seeds of war in ourselves and others, and we declare that armed conflict as a tool of diplomacy for solving modern disputes is ineffective, futile, and wrong.This is not just a statement to the world, it's a statement to ourselves as well. (I'm now speaking personally.) We have been constantly tempted to fog our spiritual telescope with hot-off-the-press political observations. I'm glad we have taken the time to remind ourselves of first principles.
Wars are not inevitable. War cannot be won merely by using inhumane violence. Peace has no chance of being enforced through military means. No conditions can justify armed warfare because it inevitably involves killing civilians.
There is a thoroughly held ethical conviction that we ought, in any case, to live in peace with one another: 'Our life is love and peace and tenderness and bearing one with another and forgiving one another and not laying accusations against one another but praying for one another and helping one another up with a tender hand.' Isaac Penington, 1667.
Friends are calling for restraint by all parties in Ukraine, abstention from violence in any form in order to avoid bloodshed. We are for purely peaceful non-violent activities in defense of their claims and the protection of the rights of every person, regardless of which group of the population they represent in Ukrainian society. Bloodshed divides, prayer and forgiveness unite. We know that in the love of Jesus we gained independence, autonomy and salvation, for we have long since been paid for by the blood of Christ.