“American imperialism, often celebrated as the new globalism, is a frightening power. It is frightening not only because of the harm such power inflicts on the innocent, but because it is difficult to imagine alternatives. Pacifists are often challenged after an event like September 11 with the question, ‘Well, what alternative do you have to bombing Afghanistan?’ Such a question assumes that pacifists must have an alternative foreign policy. My response is I do not have a foreign policy. I have something much better - a church constituted by people who would rather die than kill.
“Indeed I fear that absent a countercommunity to challenge America, bin Laden has given Americans what they so desperately needed - a war without end. America is a country that lives off the moral capital of our wars. War names the time we send the youth to kill and die (maybe) in an effort to assure ourselves the lives we lead are worthy of such sacrifices. They kill and die to protect our ‘freedom.’ But what can freedom mean if the prime instance of the exercise of such freedom is to shop? The very fact that we can and do go to war is a moral necessity for a nation of consumers. War makes clear we must believe in something even if we are not sure what that something is, except that it has something to do with the ‘American way of life.’….
“Christians are not called to be heroes or shoppers. We are called to be holy. We do not think holiness is an individual achievement, but rather a set of practices to sustain a people who refuse to have their lives determined by the fear and denial of death. We believe by so living we offer our non-Christian brothers and sisters an alternative to all politics based on the denial of death. Christians are acutely aware that we are seldom faithful to the gifts God has given us, but we hope the confession of our sins is a sign of hope in a world without hope. This means pacifists do have a response to September 11, 2001. Our response is to continue living in a manner that witnesses to our belief that the world was not changed on September 11, 2001. The world was changed during the celebration of Passover in A.D. 33.”
Stanley Hauerwas, “September 11, 2001: A Pacifist Response”, in Stanley Hauerwas and Frank Lentricchis (eds.), Dissent from the Homeland: Essays after September 11 (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 186, 188.