One evening in January 1915 Bert Brocklesby was invited to preach at the church where he was an active member - Connisborough Methodist Chapel. The congregation was made up of war widows, soldiers on leave and many others. He stood up in the pulpit, declared that all Christians should live in imitation of Christ and then asked the telling questions,
"Can you imagine Christ dressed in army uniform?
Can you imagine Christ armed with a machine gun?
Can you imagine Christ bayoneting a German soldier?
That picture", he said, "is impossible and we all know it."
Needless to say, he was not asked to preach again!
I know this is a while after Remembrance Day, but still I couldn't help thinking that we tell each other stories all the time - some from the Bible, but also others that we deem so important they shape our collective memories. We tell ourselves stories of bravery in war, but how often do we tell each other the stories of another kind of bravery - the bravery to refuse to fight? Maybe if this kind of story were more a part of our collective memories Blair and Bush would have been a little more reluctant to commit people to war.