10 Things About Boys and Violence I Learned from Blood Meridian

I returned recently to a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (or The Evening Redness in the West), because it had a lot to teach me, in a literary way, about masculinity and violence.Scalping_lithograph_circa_1850s

I was brought to those words when I thought of the pattern of violence in schools, and how not only the tools of these massacres a pattern, but also the boys and men carrying them out. Here are ten gleanings, drawn mostly from the words of the antagonist, Judge Holden: Continue reading

Responding to Violence In Churches

The past few weeks I have been hurt to see the news of church shooting incidents. Times like these may rock our faith. Sometimes this means feeling intimidated, insecure. Sometimes this means questioning our commitment to peace. Sometimes this means fearing that some sort of change is coming we can’t handle. Continue reading

How Will I Raise Both My Children in This Violent World?

For over a week we’ve been expecting the imminent birth of our second son.

5520439491_beb66a0e23_bOur first son knows about violence. He likes to pretend to punch things, throw spikes, burn and freeze. He knows that if you cut somebody, there’s blood, that he wants to kill bad guys. At the age of four, his penchant for terror worries me already. Will he grow up to respect human life in the way I want him to?
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Christian Peacemaking Teams: An alternative to joining the military

Christian Peacemaking Teams: An alternative to joining the military

Are you a Christian who has been offered a deal to join the military in your country?

One of the alternatives that exists is Christian Peacemaking Teams (CPT), an organization that calls for active, non-violent peacemaking action.

Among the work done by CPT are peaceful demonstrations, inter-army dialogues, supporting communities whose existence is in danger, and training for people in violent zones in alternatives to warfare as a way of solving problems.
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Jeremy Marshall Articulately responds to “What Would You Do if an Intruder Threatened Your Family?”

Jeremy Marshall Articulately responds to “What Would You Do if an Intruder Threatened Your Family?”

From the post:
“So you pacifist types, what will you do if some armed intruder breaks into your home to murder/rape/rob/cannibalize you and your family?” What this really is, is a leading question. They expect that you will say, “Just let them eat my babies, I guess,” and then they can chide you for being an irresponsible, unloving, yellow-bellied terrible excuse for a spouse/parent/guardian. But if they can get you to say, “I would use violence to defend my family,” then they can back you into the corner of saying, “Well, how is going to war any different when you go to war to defend others?” Of course there are two obvious counters: a) no recent wars have actually been premised upon such lofty ideals (no matter what the leaders of our Empire tell you) and b) the immediate threat of a specific armed intruder is a much simpler moral dilemma to parse out than the often dubious claims upon which actual wars are based.

A Farewell to Gun Memes: “Swords–>Plows” Means Something

Stop posting stupid memes.  Especially ones about guns.

I’ve previously established the need for Christians to actually make alive the kind of kingdom that beats swords into ploughshares.  This is what Isaiah prophesied (2:3-4),  and which Micah prophesied (4:3).

Think about what this means: Taking swords and beating them into scythes, taking spears and beating them into pruning hooks.
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