Rednecks, Violence, Pacifism, Rationalism and Christianity

Or what I learned from a JERK in a truck

The problem with life lessons is being able to see the lesson in the situation.One day I was turning right out of a parking area and there was a truck to my left so I could not see on coming traffic. The jerk behind me thought that my caution was slowness so he kept pounding on his horn. I was thinking sorry jerk but I don’t risk my life for rednecks in pick-ups (especially those with attitudes). So I flung him the bird (gave him the finger) and drove away when it was safe to do so. Yes I tend to react with emotion first, this is not wise when you consider I am a pacifist. This Jack Ass then follows me for three blocks and pulls in behind me when I go to stop. He says “if you give some one the finger you should be ready to back it up, with action” I tell him my side of the story that I am not about to risk my ass for his redneck carcass (not in those words) especially not violent rednecks like him. I also tell him that I am about as likely to fight him over this trivial spat as I am to have monkeys fly out of my butt. Personally I wish he would take more dumb risks as it would seem only a tough lesson would shake him into realization that turning into traffic with out seeing it would be STUPID. The big problem is that this jerk was threatening to beat the crap out of me with his 7 year old son in the cab of his truck. Oh Yeah Teach them early that violence works, so they can grow up to be thugs and wife abusers. (If violence was the by-product of insults then parliament would need referees and ropes around it.) I was ignoring his threats for two reasons, one I try not to fight with some one that has biceps bigger than my thighs, and two if he attempted to follow me and strike me (there were spectators) I could have his ass thrown in Jail and that would feel soooo good. However the service guy at the car dealer came running out to tell this redneck that he had just called the police and the jerk left without incident. Damn I was looking forward to charging him with assault. I grew up in a pacifist household my mother was very much against fighting, guns and violence of any sort, so I learned to walk away or take a beating and not cry out when bullied. There is very little pleasure in beating on some one if they don’t fight back, and if they don’t cry or cower. But not fighting back works, because even a bully does not want to look like a bully. You don’t look cool if the guy you’re bullying just stands there. As for the guy that is being attacked, the best thing to keep in mind is while pain is transient and unavoidable, but integrity is worth the pain. The hardest part is to take the pain without crying out. I can’t say that I never fight back, to do so is a natural animal reaction (we are animals). To not fight however is what raises us above the level of animals. We have a fight or flight urge it is built into us genetically. To raise above our animal nature it what distinguishes us from animals. There is no natural instinct that tells us to stand up and take abuse. Where do we learn such contrary behaviour? Well there are a number of possibilities, but two are the most evident. rationalism allows us to make decisions contrary to animal instinct it is logical to assume that if we don’t respond to violence with violence there will be less violence, and religion often teaches us that we are above animal behaviour.

From a Christian perspective we follow the biblical edict (or we should) that says;

Romans 12:19-21
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now contrary to the direct image of God as a smiter of sinners, I take this verse to mean that those that commit evil will not be rewarded but rather they will overcome by a good society. They over time as man evolves socially will cease to be. In other words evil will be overcome by good in Gods time.

Lord, Shall We Strike with the Sword ?

I have had another Christian video game creator react negatively to my criticism of violent (so called) Christian video Games. Rather than go back into what I find offensive about individual games here is something the Christian creators of these games need to think about.
I do not recall any of Christ’s followers killing anyone. And when one of them did take up a sword what did Jesus do and say?

Luke 22 : 49 – 51

49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

I realise that the interpretation of this is often based on the circumstances surrounding Jesus capture, but the words do not say “permit this {now}” or “suffer this {for only this time}” they simply say “permit even this” or in other interpretations “Suffer ye them thus far.”
When we look at our Christian past, we don’t view the crusades with much respect. Our saints are those that have sacrificed themselves rather than sacrificed others for Jesus sake.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

I think we are called to die for our beliefs not kill for them.
But I guess this wouldn’t really make a good action game, the first time a conflict comes up the hero steps up unarmed nonviolently and gets killed for what he believes.
It is easier to kill than to die for what you believe, wasn’t this what Jesus tried to tell us? Sorry but those that would kill for God missed Jesus’ message totally.

The Moral Majority Mourns

Jerry Laymon Falwell, Sr. , the evangelical minister who founded the Moral Majority, the Christian right political movement, in 1980 died Tuesday at age 73.

Although I have said many hateful things about Mr Falwell over the years I have ridiculed and made fun of his faux pas and been fairly and unfairly critical of his policies. I admit to being thoroughly repulsed by his theology and politics.

All that said, I admit that the Moral Majority (ick I hate that name) has lost its loudest voice. Although his beliefs are to many of us repugnant at least he lived spoke and acted in accordance with them. The criticisms levelled at him of promoting hatred were generally unfair. Even though his beliefs and the beliefs of the moral majority would create a world where hatred might flourish, he never promoted hatred, but intolerance which most of us know is the root cause of hatred. So it is with mixed emotions we say good bye to the Reverend Jerry Falwell.