Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Faith & Nonviolence

We don't get cable so I did not get to tune into the CNN miniseries called "God's Warriors" although I did get to view a few web videos. As one who believes (along with many New Testament scholars and Christian theologians) that Jesus taught and practiced nonviolence I am always troubled when the violent among us are given more space to express their views than those who choose the narrow path of peace. This public discussion is so important and we need more interfaith engagement not less. There are three excellent posts over at God's Politics that engage the intersection of faith and violence, please check them out here, here and here. One is about the latest Bourne film, which Matt and I both thought raised valuable questions. As Gareth Higgins author of the Bourne piece writes,

The Bourne Ultimatum provocatively reminds us that an uncritical approach to, for instance, defense, or economics, or prison, or immigration policy involves ceding ownership of one's life to "the authorities"; doing it "just because they say so." All too often, refusing to ask questions about the status quo only serves to keep injustice in its perfect equilibirum. Unthinking patriotism or ideology of the kind that allows secret sins – whether of deceit, or conspiracy, or killing - to be carried out in our name because "the country" depends on it meets its match in Jason Bourne.

On a related matter I am very grateful that Virginia Senator John Warner, a fellow Episcopalian has stood up and called for troop withdrawals from Iraq. This is significant in large part because Warner is a Republican. May more people of both parties learn from his example.

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