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By Keith Pavlischek
In my last post, I used the mass murder of Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin to illustrate the views of what I called “Seamless Garment Pacifism.” That view condemns as wrong (or evil or wicked) the threat or use of deadly force in all instances, even the killing of a mass murder in the midst of his act. As I said at the conclusion of that post, most Christians are not particularly inclined to this way of thinking about law enforcement officers, soldiers or the use of deadly force.
One way that Christians have historically handled this issue is to concede that while any society needs police officers and soldiers to respond to threats to the public order from mass murders, criminals, and foreign enemies, those “worldly” tasks are not permissible or proper for Christians. While they can defend and even commend a police officer for using lethal force to protect the innocent from murderers and other evils, they would consider it wrong or sinful or “worldly” for a Christian to do the same thing.
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