Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Two Hauerwas Quotes

I’m back to my old, lazy ways of barely getting in a post a week, and even then, just quoting someone else and commenting on it. Since being reactive is so natural for me, I often question why it is considered a bad thing.

Also, I'm currently trapped in a house with 3 to 6 cabin-fever-infected children, as school has been closed due to the extremely cold weather here. I'm posting this while children are running around me in circles spraying each other with fire extinguishers and wiping our remaining food supplies on the walls.

Posting Hauerwas quotes is not only easy and entertaining, but also something I am able to do with children running amok. I would hope this would be a source of pride for Stanely, rather than shame. For those unaware of Stanley Hauerwas, he is a Methodist theologian at Duke, and worked a lot with John Howard Yoder, who is the St. Augustine of Mennonite Pacifism. Or perhaps the Thomas Aquinas? Mennonites should weigh in here. For that matter, who would Hauerwas be in this metaphor?

Anway, here are the quotes, which I'm not even going to comment on now.

Quote 1 (My favorite Hauerwas quote):

“Why say carefully what you can say offensively?”

Quote 2: Where he relates his contribution to ecumenism (religious unity) and how he became a pacifist, when he presented a paper that defended John Howard Yoder’s work at a Notre Dame/Valpraiso meeting:

I began my presentation by noting that what I was going to do before these Lutherans and Catholics was a genuine ecumenical effort. It featured a Methodist with a doubtful theological background (if you are Methodist you have a doubtful theological background) representing a most Catholic department of theology, reading a paper to a group of Missouri Synod Lutherans and saying that the Anabaptists had been right all along. I said that it was an ecumenical gesture because, by the time I finished, the Catholics and Lutherans would discover how much they had in common – namely, thinking it a very good thing to kill the Anabaptists. And, of course, that is exactly what happened, as the Catholics and Lutherans joined forces to try to show me why we should not take Yoder seriously. Serious people understand that sometimes you do need to kill somebody. I was not convinced, and the rest, so to speak, is history.


Amy said...

As a Mennonite about to enter a Lutheran Seminary, I sure hope I don't need to be a sacrificial pacifist!

Funny you posted this Hauerwas quote--I've been thinking about posting on the SIMILARITIES between Mennonites and Lutherans.

Brownie said...

Maybe I'm reading this guy wrong, (this is the first I think I've ever read by him) but he sounds like a real jerk.

Why be kind instead of offensive? Are you kidding me? Isn't that (at least part of) why we call people African Americans instead of the N word? Because we really want to be kind, and good like our God. Gimme a break. (Not to say that I refrain from calling people the N word out of some restrictory obedience to God alone, rather it's wrong whether God exists or not)

And as far as Hauerwas' ecumenical efforts, I would say he did the whole thing with the full intention of angering those folks and got a kick out of it as well.

I grew up Methodist, yet I haven't been back to that church in many long years. However, to suggest-- or rather STEREOTYPE-- people based on their denomination is a closed minded and hurtful mode of discourse.

Maybe I'm taking this guy too seriously. Is he SUPPOSED to be funny/ironic/sarcastic/*****? Like the Jon Stewart of the Mennonite world?

All I know is that he doesn't even sound like a Christian to me, let alone one you should admire or be enthusiastic about spreading his close-minded ways.

It think it's important to remember that just because a Christian disagrees with you (war is sometimes necessary vs. not, for example) doesn't make them any less a valuable human being in God's eyes. And if God values them, so should we.

I'm not angry, just a little confused and a smidgen dissapointed.


Dan S said...

Good luck Amy - I wish you well at seminary. Hopefully you won't have any hard feelings about all that Lutheran to Mennonite oppression that happened centuries ago. :)

Brownie, yes, I would say you are taking Hauerwas way too seriously. These are just jokes, after all. He's Methodist, so he's allowed to make fun of Methodists.

LeVon said...

I have to say that I much appreciate the Hauerwas quotes. It seems that in our culture where any kind of offensiveness is worse than sin, most Christians have forgotten how offensive the gospel is to the individualist and nationalist ways of the USA (and most of the West as well, but the USA is where most of us live). The offense of the gospel is what Hauerwas is talking about. He might be trying to remind us that Jesus offended when it was appropriate.

And one more thing (insert shameless plug warning here): I invite y'all to check out the blog called The WereMenno. A friend and I started it and hope to get some good discussions going on theopolitics.


Dan S said...

Quite true LeVon. We tend to forget what a radical Jesus was and is, and simply ignore the things he said that are inconvenient to us.

The WereMenno eh? I like it. Howling at the moon is one of my specialties.