they invited us all to a civil war and we refused to show up?
At the far edges of the news, and sometimes not so far, is talk of civil war here in the United States. Our politics are too divided, they say. They opine that the level of anger is rising as the level of difference increases. People on the fringes are already prepping for such an event, they believe, and all it takes is a spark to set it off.
Still, what if they gave a war and the observant Christians of this country simply refused to participate, refused to buy into the anger so carefully manipulated by those who have the most to gain from it?
What if we chose not to take human life for mere politics? What if we chose, instead, to find a way to reach out to, and live with, people who may even be very different from us and squeeze the potential peace out of every process before even contemplating violent solutions for temporal issues?
Mass violence, in fact even individual violence, requires a choice to thrive. Someone, or a group of someones, needs to cross an invisible line in their conscience that lets violence towards people or property become an appropriate response to, not the threat of physical harm as there can be some justification for this, but an idea or a person simply because they hold such an idea.
For a war to occur there needs to be a mass of people who have, somewhere in their hearts, crossed that line at the behest of an ideology, a government, or a group of people that has determined such to be in their best interest. For a war to occur there need to be cooperators, those who assent to the reasons behind the call to violence. Without them the whole project eventually fizzles out.
So what would happen if we, as observant Christians, simply refused to buy the arguments of the mobs and their leaders, even those who claim to be on our side? What would happen if we said “I choose not to burn building for building, vandalism for vandalism, and threat for threat?”