Category Archives: pacifism

Pacifism and Faith

I claim to follow Christ’s example of non violence. I know all the arguments. I know that I shouldn’t fear death for me or my family because I believe in the Resurrection. But more often than I’d like to admit, I find myself wanting retributive violence.

I opened up Drudge Report this morning and saw that Iran has captured 15 british military personnel, claiming they were in Iranian waters, while the British claim they were in Iraqi waters. The first thing I thought was, “Somebody needs to blow these guys to smithereens and I know the US will do it if Iran doesn’t let the troops go.”

I heard earlier this week about how men with ties to radical Islam are getting licenses to drive school buses, and some are currently driving school buses on this nation. I’m not gonna lie to you, when I think about terrorists taking school buses full of innocent children, it pissed me off. I want those people to die. And that’s not Christlike.

Does anyone else struggle with these feelings?

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How I Went From Card Carrying Republican to Libertarian to Christian Anarchist in 2 Short Years: Part 2

MTSU brought a new environment. First off, I was in a house instead of a dorm. I had the privacy of the upstairs, I had my first taste of alcohol (besides a warm beer that I tasted once), and I had a lot of spare time. I was only taking twelve hours of school and two of those classes were 3 hours in one sitting. Basically, I had a LOT of spare time. And for the first three months, I didn’t have a job. That meant plenty of time to think about everything under the sun. My philosophy of life had changed a little bit, but I was really just trying to reform it.

I’d been looking into Libertarianism and really liked what I saw. I’d always been distrustful of government and the Libertarian Party was about as skeptical of Government as any party (outside of anarchists, though Libertarians aren’t too far from that). I agreed with nearly every premise of the party, but I did have some issue with their position on the Iraq war (they are against it) and their position on drugs (they want to legalize most drugs). I eventually came to see their side on the war on drugs, but I didn’t quite agree witht he position on Iraq. I felt though, that my problems with the Republicans were resolved by Libertarianism.

I went back home for the summer and met a girl named Claire. She was from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and was a friend of my friend Daniel Wade. We talked for the summer which eventually led to a week long trip to Panama City Florida. After the trip, we both went back to our respective colleges, she to Searcy and me to Murfreesboro. We continued talking (and we were both still interested in each other). I ended up taking a job at Ezell Harding christian school so that I’d have the weekends free to see Claire. I never made it over to Searcy, but I did meet my fiancee at that job. Funny how things work out. But back to the story… a couple of weeks after our trip, Hurricane Katrina hit, and with the wind from the Gulf came winds of change in my theology.

In my life, I’d grown up with a pretty solid definition of who God was and how he worked. All of the sudden, this God that was always in control had let horrible things happen to so many people right here in my country. Its terrible that this Hurricane caused this shift of thought in me, and not the Tsunami in East Asia, but this is just how things happened.  I was near the end of my faith. It was if all the small questions that had been building inside since my last semester at Lipscomb came to a boil… and I didn’t know what to do.

So I emailed Brandon Scott Thomas and asked him for help. He invited me to lunch to share his story, and things started turning around from there…

Harding turning Liberal???

Check out the editorial page of the Bison.

 Hat Tip to JH

How I Went From Card Carrying Republican to Libertarian to Christian Anarchist in 2 Short Years: Part 1

I didn’t start out this “liberal”.

I grew up listening to talk radio, and could probably be labeled a Rush baby . In my second grade gifted class, I wrote a poem about Bill Clinton. It is as follows:

Bill Clinton is a jerk

He just won’t work.

After one year has passed the people will say

“Now we want Clinton to go away!”

What’s kinda funny about the whole thing is that it was prophetic. Two years after Clinton’s election, the Republican Revolution occured in Congress as a backlash to Hillary’s health care program and “don’t ask don’t tell”. Anyway, that’s all beside the point.

The point is, I’ve been learning how to be a conservative my whole life. I understood basic principles of capitalism before I was out of middle school. I was defending my point of view on internet forums at the age of 16 (debating socialists and communists much older than I was). I went to Lipscomb University, with aspirations of working in politics. I even flirted with a Poli Sci major.

But my second year at LU, things started to change.

I took Christian Ethics with Mark Black, US History with Richard Goode, and American Lit with Dana Carpenter. These three classes introduced rational viewpoints that contrasted with my worldview. I saw, for the first time, that there were “liberals” who really did love Jesus. That was the fall of 04, election season. I remember refusing to join the College Republicans, because, well, they were all idiots. They even had a shirt with a Bible verse on it that said something about “the wise man’s heart leans to the right” or something. The election happened, and Bush won. But I didn’t gloat. I even wrote a livejournal post chastising those who were rubbing it in people’s faces that Bush had one. I said, “politics isn’t football. We are all a part of the same country and we all basically want the same thing, we just have different ideas of how to acheive it”.

Right after that, I transfered to MTSU. This is where the most radical transformation would begin. Republican to Libertarian was stretching my mind… I didn’t really know what the next year would hold.

There is a ton of stuff going on in the world today. In the political realm, the Foley situation has gotten more and more interesting by the minute. According to Matt Drudge, the instant messages that were leaked were to a young man who was 18, not 16 as previously reported. Also, there is speculation that a blogger (possibly the daily kos) is responsible for setting up a faux blog about pedophiles for the express purpose of outing Foley. I’m hesitant to even link to this, but blogactive.com has actually outed a whole host of Republicans… presumably for political purposes. Regardless your opinion on homosexuality, this is disgusting.

Second, gun violence in schools has been occuring more frequently of late. None of these incidents has gotten more coverage than the recent shooting at an Amish schoolhouse. After a week of discusion on pacifism over at GKB’s blog as well as some at preachermike.com, relating to Sean Hannity and Coleman Yoakum at Harding University, a real life situation has happened and real pacifism has been shown to the world. And not only that, but Spirit led forgiveness has been mirrored to the nations. Praise God for the Amish! Also, Scott Freeman is doing a series on non violence. It will be a good read.

And lastly, fall is arriving with full force. I think the foliage is going to be prettier than I’ve ever seen in my life. Its all ready gorgeous on 840 between the Boro and Franklin. High temperatures next wee will be in the 70s and towards the end of the week will be in the low 60s. I love autumn.

Caught a Kitten and Hannity v Yoakum

Today, I was going to the bank to deposit a check, and all the sudden a kitten runs underneath my feet an into the  undercarriage of my car.

I pulled it out from under there and took it home.

So, now I have a cat.

In other news, Cole Yoakum, a sophomore student at Harding University who stood toe to toe with Sean Hannity last week, has a blog and has something to say about the event. I respect this kid in a huge way. Its good to see that there are people at Harding who think outside the box and are willing to question things that they think go against the ideals of Christ.

And in that same vein, Greg Kendall-Ball is discussing why the argument that Hannity used against pacifism is not relevant.

Changing Theology: What to do when your viewpoint freaks your parents

Actually, I don’t really have an answer to this. I’m hoping some of you out there have some ideas.

My parents have been moving along with me on a lot of issues from a theological standpoint. The emerging church stuff and postmodern thought, they are totally onboard. They dealt with my move from Republicanism to Libertarianism pretty well. I think they are having more issues with my shift towards Christian Pacifism/Anarchy (otherwise known as the Kingdom of God).

Understandably, my parents have issues with my relinquishing of support for any war waged by any country. It doesn’t make sense. I understand that. It didn’t make sense to me before, and it doesn’t make complete sense to me now. But I know its right. Its the way we’re supposed to behave if we really believe that Jesus means what he says.

Could one involve himself in government without the involvement becoming idolotry? Absolutely. But the temptation is always there. The temptation in voting is to say my ideology is best for the country because I know what God wants for us, so its actually what God wants for the country. How many of us are guilty of saying that? Or thinking it? I know I did. I did it when I was a Republican. I did it when I was a Libertarian (for the year that I was one). Its easy for me to say that because God wants us to be free, we should have the government that gives us the most freedom. Its easy to say that since Jesus rejected the idea of using the government to bring the Kingdom of God, that we should reject involving Government with Kingdom things.

But the problem is, for everything that its easy for me to say, its easy for someone to see it a completely different way. And that divides the Kingdom. When I want a Libertarian Government, and Larry James wants a Democrat controlled Government, it makes it harder for us to be brothers. If we stopped arguing politics and started being the Kingdom, things would be better.

Anyway, this was a big random “musing”. Thoughts anyone?