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“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last” Winston Churchill

Updated on February 14, 2012


The dictionary definition of the term appease is:

1. To bring peace, quiet, or calm to; soothe.

2.To pacify or attempt to pacify (an enemy) by granting concessions often at the expense of principle.

Appeasement is the satisfaction of what are usually unreasonable demands rather than acceding to the requests of an aggrieved party. People appease in all sorts of ways in order to have a quiet life. Parents appease their children only to find that their demands grow more and more unreasonable. One spouse may appease the other, but then the marriage is unbalanced and unhappy for both parties, leading to permanent contempt on the one side and humiliation on the other.

Appeasement has probably always had underlying negative connotations, but the 1938 Chamberlain/Hitler peace treaty ‘peace in our time’ brought the word into vivid focus. After the war the words appeaser and Chamberlain became synonymous. He became the example of the ultimate appeaser who sacrificed Czechoslovakia to Hitler in order to avoid war. Chamberlain is forever humiliated because of the contrast in Churchill’s aggressive and brave stand for Britain’s freedom no matter what the cost.

The spirit of appeasement is a lie – it blinds people to the truth. It says that peace can be achieved by an act of giving in, but ultimately it does not work. The mistake that appeasement leads to peace leads people to serious sometimes even fatal decisions. Fear of consequences leads people to appease; they do not want to face that ultimate showdown; they may lose someone or something that they desperately want to keep. If someone must constantly appease to maintain a relationship, then that relationship is destructive and not worth continuing. Constant appeasement is the enemy of freedom in relationships where consequences of some sort or another cannot be avoided in the end.

Romans 12/18: If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.

There is a line somewhere between having good relationships, living in peace, overlooking offences etc. and the point where it is not possible to do so without compromise. We should make every effort to live in peace, to reason and argue our point, to remonstrate and persuade. However, when all else fails and there is an important principle involved then we cannot appease, because if we do then evil wins. To let evil win benefits neither the appeaser or the appeased.

One author has described appeasement as: “surrender of a vital interest for a minorquid pro quo, or for no reciprocal concession at all” (Plano and Olten 1982, p. 229).

“Those who refuse to take a stand wind up appeasing evil, feeding it, even voting for it, and finally, dying from it." Rick Gaber.

The more you appease someone who is a threat, the more they will demand from you – you will never be able to satisfy their lust for power and control. Even when they do have total power and control they remain unsatisfied and nothing is gained except unhappiness. The person who demands appeasement is looking for their fulfillment in the wrong place and to appease them is not doing them any favours. Appeasement is futile.

Appeasement is cowardly and selfish. It seeks to permanently put off necessary challenge the sake of a temporary moment of respite and does not want to pay the cost or take responsibility for what is right. Appeasers operate according to a ‘don’t rock the boat’ mentality, but this is to deny that certain principles are worth fighting for. It is to lose dignity and to put up with things we should not put up with for the sake of a quiet life. Appeasement is the enemy of self-respect and is ultimately destructive.

Finally appeasement is a sin because it allows wickedness to flourish and do its destructive work. It refuses to shine in a dark place and to bring truth and light.


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