In 1934, Anglican priest H. R. L (“Dick”) Sheppard challenged young men in England to pledge to “say NO!” to participation in future wars. The response to his call was so overwhelmingly enthusiastic that the next year Sheppard published We Say NO! The Plain Man’s Guide to Pacifism and founded the Peace Pledge Union, a pacifist organization that’s still going strong in Britain today. His book, a best-seller during his lifetime, has become a classic in Christian pacifism. It contains the fundamentals of Sheppard’s call for a Christian response to violence that remains loyal to the “constructively revolutionary” spirit of Jesus.
Sheppard’s commitment to the gospel of nonviolence made him slightly disreputable within the Church of England but earned him a lasting place among twentieth-century champions of pacifism. This new edition of We Say NO!, completely annotated and prefaced with an introduction that provides detailed information about Sheppard and the peace movement he launched, aims to present his case for Christian pacifism to a new generation.