I walked past this graffiti on Sunday...just before they did a 10-cannon salute on the other side of the river. At first, it frustrated me, but living in Portland, as I do, with so many white educated kids, I wondered if this is the prophetic voice here.
While I don't agree that "peace is for cowards" I feel like I can sympathize with some of the gist. That is, peace is not a clearly defined term. It's alot like saying love or God. Everyone has their own understanding of what it means.
And for so many folks in this town, they simply hate war and Bush and most all things Republican. Now I, too, have a general distaste (and perhaps even burning anger from time to time) toward those things as well. And most of these good folks would offer peace as the alternative.
But sometimes peacemaking can come at the cost of true confrontation or true reconciliation or true conversation. That is, some times, peace is simply the easier option. And that definition of peace could really be the same as evasion. And that sort of peace is not sustainable because it's based on the assumption that each party will keep secrets and not really lay anything of value on the table, lest it cause war (whether verbal, emotional, ideological, or governmental). The cost is always some form of pain, some sort of death (whether relational, emotional, spiritual or physical).
So, while I'm dubious of blindly supporting war as a real option in our current time, I'm also skeptical of blindly supporting an idea of peace that doesn't really get at the stuff that would cause war.
Real peace is for people willing to walk humbly, but with conviction. A listening ear as well as a confident word.
Peace and war (depending on how you define the words) could both be cowardly.