Worshipping Peace

When a revered value becomes all-important, it can become like an idol.

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Thus, a good such as order when it is absolutized, becomes tyranny; liberty can become licentiousness; loyalty can degenerate into collaboration with tyranny; parental respect can be transformed into ancestor worship; science can become a goal and not an instrument, a deity that commands unmercifully instead of a tool; justice unmodified by compassion can become a destroyer of God's house; love, absolutized, can become a destroyer of God's world. The crusader of medieval Europe and the Grand Inquisitor of Spain killed people for the sake of love of God.

Thus, we may understand why the Talmud always bracketed idolatry with immorality and bloodshed.

Pacifism is the Idolizing of Peace

If nothing is worth fighting for, if everything must be subordinated to peace, then peace is an absolute, an idol. If a man says: "I will sue for peace regardless of the circumstances," and thereby increases the possibility of losing justice and freedom which took thousands of years of history to produce and refine; if a man is willing to sacrifice religion and equality and liberty and homeland for the sake of physical survival, then he has made of peace an unsatiable, satanic idol.

This idol is a moral outrage, also, because it can induce people to con­sider only one thing worthwhile--physical survival. And if that is the goal on the international scene, what havoc will be wrought within our own society when our children grow up with the concept that physical survival, peace, is the only value worth living for?

Pacifism, therefore, is an idea that flies in the face of the Jewish spirit. Strange as it may appear, to a people whose life and literature are saturated with the passionate pursuit of peace, pacifism is something of a moral aberration.

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