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In answer to that question, Edwin Starr responded "absolutely nothing.” But others say that it protects our freedom and way of life from those who would destroy it.
Then again, who is this "us" and "them", and in what way has violence and war conditioned us to accept these divisions as foundational rather than constructed?
War undoubtedly ruins countries and takes innocent lives, but in a violent world “pacifism” is often portrayed as neither practical nor realistic.
Chaired by Lia Dong Shimada (Methodist minister, trained mediator), a Greenbelt Festival Panel at 8pm on Friday 26 August will feature responses to these and other questions by Chris Cole (Fellowship of Reconciliation), Hannah Davies (One World Action), Simon Barrow (Ekklesia), and Stu Hallam (military chaplain).
* More on Greenbelt: http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/
* Greenbelt panel discussions: http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/blog/2011/07/panels-at-greenbelt-2011/Tweet