Friday, January 15, 2016

A compelling temptation

Leaders in faith communities must understand the compelling temptation to feel powerful and in charge. The violence of today’s movies and video games, dramatic explosions, the pin-point accuracy of an air-strike from a jet or helicopter, an attack by a predator drone guided by computers thousands of miles away, a firefight by the marines in Afghanistan seen in full color on our television screens, have an immense trickle-down attraction for citizens who feel at risk because of the violence in their communities that is reported daily. Watching a war on television or the evening news convinces many that they too need weapons for protection in suburbia or the inner city. Violence begets violence is not a rumor; it is a reality. Violence done anywhere escalates violence everywhere.

Those who place their faith in weapons often ask derisively, “Can a nation or a home be too secure? Can we be too safe?” The appeal of redemptive violence is the spirit of the age in which we live and it affects all humanity. It is virulent in the United States as it impacts our foreign policy, dictates what our national budgets will be, governs the military industrial complex and Gun Empire, inspires our media and even televangelism; it fuels our national myth that both our homes and the world can be secure with enough firepower.—America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, page 68 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Broken record time: If violence is seen as an option, it soon becomes the option of choice and then becomes the only option...

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 NIV (emphasis added)
</idle musing>

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