Wednesday, November 12, 2014

the myth of redemptive violence and the prince of peace.

"I recognize the acts of selflessness and heroism that have been displayed by young men and women in the intensity of battle over the years, and I respect and remember the people I love who have experienced war. I deeply care about everyone whose lives have been shaped by war in some way or another. But it is that same respect and love for human life which prevents me from being able to celebrate the suffering that has resulted from war.

I don’t believe that the no-win situation of kill-or-be-killed is one that women and men should ever be forced into. I am not against the people who have ended up in this situation, but I am against the ideologies and systems of war that have landed them there. I am against the myth of redemptive violence, against governments advancing their economic and political interests with human lives (especially the lives of the poor, who always suffer disproportionately in war), against the idea that killing the families of other people is justified in order to defend the families of people that I know and love. I do not celebrate the tragic loss and destruction of lives that these wars have entailed, and I do not believe that continuing to depend on violence to protect our freedom and security can ever make us truly safe or free.

For me, this is a day of somber remembrance and reflection. For any of us who would profess a higher allegiance to the Prince of Peace than to any nation on earth, this day is a reminder of the flawed logic of counting one nation’s 'victories' over another as long as those victories come at the cost of slaughtering our fellow human beings. This day reminds me to pray and hope and live into creative new ways of engaging with conflict which will one day replace the cyclical violence on which we have come to rely as our first line of defense in any threatening situation. This day compels me to grieve for what has been, and to hope for what is yet to be, believing that the difficult and risky path of enemy love that Jesus lays out is no more costly than the bloody path we have walked up until now."

-Superbly disturbing, prophetic, hopeful words from this blogger.

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