Occasionally, I’m asked if a peace church like ours that promotes non-violent enemy love should pause to commemorate Remembrance Day or if individual Christ-followers should wear poppies and participate in Remembrance Day events.
Pacifists, like anyone, have differing opinions – there is no one right answer. But my approach, and our approach at The Meeting House, has always been to use Remembrance Day as an opportunity to do just that – remember.
Memory can be a powerful motivator to work for peace. Even though we may have ideological differences with those who would fight in a war, and even though we may not honour their willingness to KILL for a cause, we still honour and respect their willingness to DIE for a cause. On that point we are in full alignment with others who participate in Remembrance Day events.
Remembrance Day is not fundamentally a pro-war occasion (no one looks at it that way) – it is about remembering and honouring those who have given their lives sacrificially. We as Christians, of all people, can identify with that concept while maintaining our conviction.
Do I wear a poppy? I’m happy to (until it falls off). But I also wear a button produced by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) – which, by the way, stays on much better- in order to remember is to work for peace. Amen.