Roman Catholic priest Daniel Berrigan was despised by the Christian Right for using verses like the one in Isaiah 2 referring to the beating of swords into plowshares.
Indeed such an action will only take place when Christ returns and to utilise that verse for political action (even if anti-war) is rooted in a hermeneutical and thus doctrinal fallacy.
And yet I constantly hear conservative Christians equally abusing the Scripture by quoting 2 Chronicles 7.14 and applying it to America.
If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
If my people....
That's not America. That was Israel the Old Covenant nation. I'll grant it is applicable today but only to the Covenant nation, New Covenant Israel (Eph 2)... the Church of Jesus Christ.
America is not in covenant with God. America is not God's people.
America is not called by God's name. I don't care what historical myths or theological heresies are used to justify America's status as a holy nation, America can make no such claim.
It's just another example of the same kind of Sacralism that has dominated so-called Christian thought since the time of Constantine.
Heal their land...
This land is not holy. This land is not a type of Jesus Christ. It's not a land of milk and honey, symbolising Eden lost and Eden promised. We are not ruled over by a Solomonic type of Christ. Our leaders, our government, our civil religion are not pictures of the heavenly Zion.
At best they are counterfeits, as is American Evangelicalism.
The funny thing is that if, and that's a big if... I was political and did truly believe that we as Christians are called on to change and transform the world then I would have to say Berrigan's sabotage of nuclear weapons and war protesting would probably represent a more Christian expression and application of ethics than the imperial mindset of Christendom in all its forms.
Berrigan was wrong and actually was not a pacifist. Neither was Martin Luther King Jr. or even Gandhi. I suppose I can admit they represent a type of pacifism, namely political non-resistance.
True Pacifism does not have political aspirations, understanding all politics and all statecraft are ultimately forms of violence and retribution contrary to our Christian calling in Romans 12-13, and certainly in 1 Corinthians 5 and the Sermon on the Mount. I could cite many more passages but that's certainly a start.
New Testament pacifism is prophetic and rooted in witness and martyrdom. It is transcendent finding meaning and hope in the Age to Come. Our rejection of the world is not political. We're not trying to change, coerce or co-opt Babylon. We live in it and yet refuse it. We submit to its laws and pay our taxes but we won't worship their gods or help them steal and murder in the process of warfare.
We bear witness and if need be suffer and die.
All that said, it's hard not to somewhat admire someone like Berrigan. He certainly puts the Falwell's and their ilk to shame.