Violence II

Category: By Christian
First things first...Did you know it's possible to download classes for free from Duke, Cal, Stanford and other great schools on itunes? Not only is it true, but it's free.

So recently I've been listening to a couple of lectures by Michael Nagler from his class on Non Violence. The one I was listening to today was great, and it talked about the difference between strategic and principled NV. What was striking is that he explained how strategic nonviolence can actually cause more violence, because it entails people essentially picking up the idea in order to achieve a specific goal. Thus, if their goal is attained or if they find that strategic NV isn't getting them the results they desire, they then are open to more violent measures.

This took me back a bit, because I had always assumed that any type of NV was great. Not the case, however because strategic NV that does not achieve its goals can result in situations where violence escalates past where it would have if strategic NV had not even been brought into the picture.

Not only is this causing me to evaluate how strong of a principled NV proponent I actually am, it is also begging the question as to other areas of my personal ethic where I might be strategic instead of principle. Are there ideas that I am milking, but that I would be willing to give up if I found they were not benefiting me?

Which brings us to one of my favorite topics...the Church. American Christians can be strong proponents of capitalism, prayer in schools, pastoral political involvement. Any number of things. But are our positions on these issues based in principal, or are they conditional and contingent of them being of benefit to our in-group. I really wonder how our paradigms would shift and change and flip if Christians were not such a powerful group in this country. I would hope that we would be more in favor of nonviolence if we were suffering more persecution within our own society. I wonder why this isn't more of a principle for us.

Fair Dinkum

0 comments so far.

Something to say?