Can Pacifists Be Patriots?

  • Keith Graber Miller


Just eight days after September 11, 2001, our local newspaper, The Goshen News, carried a critical letter by a Goshenite responding to an earlier letter written by my friend Albert J. Meyer, former head of the Mennonite Board of Education. “Al,” the critic wrote, “if you think serving tea and crumpets in your den to Moammar Gadhafi, Yasser Arafat, and Osama bin Laden would bring lasting peace from terrorism, you go for it. I think it’s been proven that diplomacy with these people has not been real effective!” In his closing paragraph, the critic stated that “if some people…want to hold discussions on world peace or sew quilts or what not for the cause,” they should realize that they can do so only because the United States, unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, treasures freedom of speech. “But understand,” he concluded, “that you’re in the great minority of Americans.”1


Conscientious Objector Critical Letter Civil Religion Moral Equivalent Lasting Peace 
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  1. 1.
    Mike Keim, “Treaty Actions Not Cause of Attacks,” Goshen News, September 19, 2001, p. 4.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Capt. Don Rhude, “Group Should Go to Afghanistan,” Goshen News, September 28, 2001, p. 4.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    John D. Ulmer, “Terrorist Attacks Are More than Crimes,” Goshen News, October 2, 2001, p. 4.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Michael G. Long and Tracy Wenger Sadd 2007

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  • Keith Graber Miller

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