Last night I was at home and flipping the channels (Okay I only have 6 channels to flip through) and came upon a documentary on PBS.  I believe it was called Carrier and focused on life on an aircraft carrier.  I didn’t watch much of it, being solidly committed to pacifism.  But I watched enough to hear some very interesting quotes.  One that stuck out to me more than any other was spoken by a 20 something guy.  He said something like, “We are here to bring peace.  Peace by power.”  Peace by power?  That got me thinking about peace and our world.  It also got me thinking about the Roman Empire and the Pax Romana (the peace of Rome) in which Jesus found himself living.   The Pax Romana was not a peaceful idea. In fact it was only brought about because anyone who spoke up against Rome or in some way brought “trouble” to Rome was severly dealt with. They would be crucified outside the town with the understandable message, “You mess with Rome and you will end up like this.” So the Peace of Rome was brought about through Violence…

So the comment last night reminded me of Rome and the empire. I began to wonder about the Pax Americana. How much of our peace as a country has been brought about by violence? Can peace be brought about violently or is that an oxymoron? I truly believe that peace is not done by power but by love, grace, service, and mercy. It’s about power under (service) and not power over. (Thanks to Greg Boyd for these words) True peace is only found in Jesus and can’t be brought about by demanding, fighting, and violence.

I then did a search on the term Pax Americana and found an amazing quote by John F. Kennedy.  I agree with him wholeheartedly, and I will work to bring about peace in our world (not just absence of war, but peace of mind, heart, soul, spirit, and in all of creation) I end with his quote. 

I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.[3]