Looking for Mrs. Miniver
Rod Dreher on Clerical Pacifism
I have been deeply concerned with how Christians in America will handle the war against terror. We do not withstand jihad with the songs “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Gift of Finest Wheat.” I recall being in Holland on Christmas Eve one year, days before the Gulf War began. Though not Catholic at the time, or even seriously religious, I went to Midnight Mass with my friends (that was the only time they went to Mass all year). I don’t speak Dutch, but they sang two English hymns, if that’s the right word. One was John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas (War Is Over).” The other was a pacifist ditty from the World War II era, which contained the line, “Please Mr. Churchill, don’t send us off to war. . . .”
After Mass, my friends asked me what I thought. I struggled for something to say. All I could manage was, “Well, I don’t think those hymns are what got you all through the Nazi occupation.”
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Rod Dreher is a contributing editor to Touchstone. He is a senior editor and blogger at the American Conservative and author of How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, and Live Not by Lies: A Survival Manual for Christian Dissidents. He is Eastern Orthodox and lives with his wife, Julie, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They have three children.
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