As most of my readers will know I am a pacifist, and this springs from my belief that the teachings of Jesus are a reliable guide for the sort of life God calls us to lead, which includes loving our enemies, praying for those who hate us, and not returning evil for evil.
However, I do not feel the need to be disrespectful to those who disagree with me on this, and nor do I wish in any way to minimize the deaths of millions of people in war – not just solders, sailors and flyers, but also the untold millions of civilians who lost their lives because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think Remembrance Day is incredibly important, because it isn’t just about honouring military personnel, but also about thinking about this whole issue of war, praying for the victims of war, and doing all we can to work for a just and peaceful world.
For this reason I think it is in very poor taste to start the run up to Christmas the day after Halloween. I agree with the vets and others who are protesting about this (although, of course, for different reasons than them). Let’s put this annual spend-a-thon on hold for a few more days and concentrate on working and praying for a peaceful world. And you know what? That might just help to put us in a proper frame of mind to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as well.