Monday, August 11, 2014

Sowing Violence To Reap Peace

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.
Galatians 6:7 (Holy Bible, NIV)

One would not sow apple seeds and expect to grow oranges or pumpkin seeds and expect tangerines.  It seems silly to state something so obvious.  Doesn't it?  Yet over and over again we hear the claim that violence must be used in order to restore peace.  We hear it so often that most of us actually believe it.  Theologian Walter Wink refers to this ideology as the "myth of redemptive violence".  It claims that violence is necessary and can lead to a greater good in the future.  It tells us that we can sow violence now and reap peace later.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  It is impossible to reap peace by sowing violence.

The myth of redemptive violence is a lie, but it's a very good lie.  All good lies are subtle and seductive.  They slip in unnoticed and sound so much like the truth, but thy are not.  Israel says it has no choice but to resort to violence against Gaza in order to keep its citizens safe.  Really?  Has Israel tried ending the occupation of Gaza, allowing the Palestinians their God-given right to self determination, recognizing that the Palestinians are just as human as the Israelis?  Dropping bombs on sleeping children in UN shelters is the only way to secure peace?  Really Israel?

The US has declared war on terrorism and yet everywhere the US has engaged in this "war" more and more terrorists emerge, each new manifestation more numerous and dangerous than the one before.  Just look at Iraq now.  Is it not clear enough yet?  Violence does nothing to deter terrorism.  Violence does nothing to solve the problems of the world.  It is a useless deceptive tool we must lay down now if humanity is to survive at all.

We must not be passive bystanders.  We must intervene.  The massacres taking place in Gaza are absolutely unjustifiable.  Only those thoroughly deceived by the myth of redemptive violence fail to be horrified by the deaths of innocent children and they are wrong.  They may be presidents, prime ministers, congressmen, cabinet members, but they are wrong.  We must not believe their lies.  There is no salvation in violence.  Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar.  We must use the full force of nonviolent protest to pressure the US to stop funding Israel's gradual genocide of the Palestinian people.  We must not be complicit by remaining silent.  The violence we allow to be sown in our name will return to us ten, twenty and a hundredfold.  We must act now.

Following the  Way,

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