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.
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 →
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 →
For over a week we’ve been expecting the imminent birth of our second son.
Our 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? Continue reading →
It’s one of those days where a nation is met with terrible news of unspeakable, unpardonable violence. We wish for less of those days. We cringe at the hearing of them. Sometimes we are quick to respond. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.
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. Continue reading →
Am I unarmed? Well, I keep a baseball bat by my bed at home.
If someone comes into my house, I will confront them verbally. If they come at me with threat, I will try to defend my wife and child while also keeping that person alive. They are created in the image of God, after all. If they are after my property, I would most certainly rather them live and take it than die and me keep it. If they are after my wife and child, I will do what I can to stop them. And if I end up taking their life, I will pray and mourn, because no man’s death is something to celebrate to me, no matter his intentions, especially if that death occurs while he is likely lost from the way of God, for then I have sent him to a most unfortunate judgement. Continue reading →
After a tragedy, sometimes people ask “where was God in this?” Sometimes I want to ask “where is God in your response?” and, more importantly, “what kind of God is in your response?”
Can we agree to a verbal armistice? Let’s pretend that bad memes and misuse of statistics are like using nerve gas and Agent Orange. Be the bigger one and stop using it, demonstrating that not-using-it-ness to those who disagree with you. Come on, I know you can do it. Continue reading →
“I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.” (Job 16:2-5 | NLT)