A pacifist minister reflects on the antifa who protected protesters from Charlottesville's armed Nazis

Logan Rimel is parish administrator at University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley, and identifies as a pacifist; when Rimel traveled to Charlottesville to protest the gathering of white supremacists there, he realized that it was only the willingness of antifa to confront violent Nazis that kept the racists from beating and possibly killing him and his fellow counterprotesters.

Rimel still identifies as a pacifist, but, in a thoughtful essay, he contemplates what it means to have outsourced his "sin of violence" to the antifa who "put their bodies between these armed white supremacists and those of us who could not or would not fight."

If you are unwilling to risk your bodily integrity to stand against literal Nazis, but you are willing to criticize the people out there who are taking this grave threat seriously but not in a way of which you approve….I just don't know what to say to you. Truly. Your moral authority is bankrupt and you're not helping. You're a hypocrite.

Everyone wants to feel safe. You are not safe. Your Muslim neighbors are not safe. Your immigrant neighbors are not safe. Your black neighbors are not safe. Your disabled neighbors are not safe. Your indigenous neighbors are not safe. Your Jewish neighbors are not safe. Your transgender neighbors are not safe. If you feel safe now, it's an illusion born of your relationship to power. But make no mistake – you may not be the canary, but we're all in the same coal mine. These people have been "community organizing" for DECADES. They are base-building and they have the White House. They have infiltrated law enforcement. They are in every legislative body and on every school board. You are not safe.

How can the sleeping white church, of which I am a part, mobilize the church militant? How can we spiritually prepare and discipline the followers of Christ to put their bodies on the line? It's an earnest question; I don't know the answer. We don't have a lot of time to equivocate, though. It's time to move.

My "Nonviolent" Stance Was Met With Heavily Armed Men
[Logan Rimel/Radical Discipleship]

(via Making Light)

(Image: Evan Nesterak, CC-BY)