When the Government – or Society – Is Against You: What Should Christians Do?

Some American Christians worry that we are being “persecuted” and that our “freedom of religion” is being infringed. That’s always true to some extent – and the idea is scary. How did Jesus deal with it? Jesus practiced non-violent non-cooperation toward evil persons. The results of his courage were both short-term and long-term, mostly good, some brutally bad. Jesus’ immediate followers – the Christians of the first century, also faced lots of suffering. They suffered government harassment, even arrest and execution. They suffered from neighbors and fellow-citizens – the insulting or aggressive behavior of others around them in society. They … Continue reading

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. … the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality sponsored by counterinsurgency specialists. Normally the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. That allows the public to sustain its faith in a just America, while hard-nosed security and economic interests are still protected in secret. -Robert Parry, investigative reporter and author … Continue reading

Teens Resisting the Temptation to Fight

Recently a fairly open discussion another adult and I had with some teenagers took a few interesting turns (no surprise there!). One person in the group talked a little about the experience of being on the brink of some serious temptation, turning away from it, and realizing with joy how much you have protected and how much freedom you have gained by pulling back from the temptation. So some others wanted to pursue that theme. One brought up the temptation to fight. … Continue reading

As We Think, So We Are

I recommend for your attention this excellent recent comment by bookaholic. Here are some excerpts. This little bit about Jesus: “he was not energized by and focused on his enemies” is some kind of key. I spent several years in a small town where a favorite topic of conversation was the bad things other people did… At the same time, the atmosphere seemed to be saturated with high-profile Christianity; there was lots of God talk, much of it from the same people who were dispensing the negativity and gloom. It’s possible to cultivate a habit of being energized by and … Continue reading

“Peace on Earth” – but Not NOW, Of Course

How bizarre. A woman in Colorado was threatened with $1000 worth of fines for having a Christmas wreath on the front of her house in the shape of a peace symbol. Yes, I guess I can see that. Celebration of the season where we stress “Peace on Earth” should not be made controversial by advocating radical political notions – like, you know, peace on our earth in our day. … Continue reading

Algeria and India – A Comparison of Violent and Non-Violent Resistance.

Algeria We watched the documentary-style classic The Battle of Algiers for the first time the other night. After 130 years of being the colonial rulers in Algeria, in 1957 the French became targets of a sudden and violent terrorist uprising among the native Muslim population of the city. It was brutally crushed by French terrorism including quarantine of whole sections of the city, torture, and assassination. I am not an expert at all on these events. But … Continue reading