The Peace Testimony is the historic position taken by Anabaptists (Mennonites and Amish) and Quakers that violence is morally wrong. It’s the belief that nonviolence and peaceful confrontation of evil is better than violence. In 1660, Margaret Fell, an early Quaker, expressed it this way. “All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.”
Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish have lived and survived around the world, during war and peace, without weapons, for many centuries. If they can do it, why can’t other people?
Here are a few of my personal statements about the peace testimony:
People who cancel their conscience are capable of great cruelty. The peace testimony can awaken people’s conscience.
Conscience before country! Any country that commands or encourages its citizens (or soldiers) to do wrong should be disobeyed.
People who let nationalism silence their conscience are slaves of the state.
Immoral laws (and cruel military orders) can make it legal to do wrong, but they don’t make it right.
To be kind to your enemies konfuses them.