Friday, January 08, 2016

Whence this love for violence?

My purpose in writing about our dark side is not to heap scorn upon the country I love, but rather to encourage the church of Jesus Christ to dig deep and examine where our penchant for violence comes from, and to ask why we place such great confidence in weapons of war and defensive handguns. Do we have an excessive need to be in control? Do we trust the tools of violence more than other countries? Those of us who believe in the love of God revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth must get in touch with our American obsession for dominance, power, and violence. We must admit them. We must confess these “needs” and put in their place a born-again trust in the efficacy of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22–23).—America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, pages 62–63

<idle musing>
I've noticed over the years that if violence is admitted as an option, it soon becomes the default option. If someone initially says they will only use violence in defending someone else, it isn't long before they begin to see violence as an option in self-defense as well. Violence is like a virus that takes over the whole thought process and makes it sick.

If, on the other hand, you start from the initial viewpoint that violence in never an option, it's amazing how many creative ways you can come up with to manage the situation. Once again, Lakoff and Johnson are correct, metaphors matter. How we describe things does affect the way we see solutions.

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