Monday, January 04, 2016
What's your religion?
Violence is the ethos of our times. It is the spirituality of the modern world. It has been accorded the status of a religion, demanding from its devotees an absolute obedience to death. Its followers are not aware, however, that the devotion they pay to violence is a form of religious piety. Violence is successful as a myth precisely because it does not seem to be mythic in the least. Violence simply appears to be the nature of things. It is what works. It is inevitable, the last, and often, the first resort in conflicts. It is embraced with equal alacrity by people on the left and on the right, by religious liberals and religious conservatives. The threat of violence, it is believed, alone can deter aggressors. Some would argue the threat of nuclear annihilation has bought the world sixty-six years of peace. Violence is thriving as never before in every sector of American popular culture, civil religion, nationalism, and foreign policy. Violence, not Christianity, is the real religion of America.—Walter Wink, as quoted in America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, pages 52–53