Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Something to think about...

"Very often people object that nonviolence seems to imply passive acceptance of injustice and evil and therefore that it is a kind of cooperation with evil. Not at all. The genuine concept of nonviolence implies not only active and effective resistance to evil but in fact a more effective resistance... But the resistance which is taught in the Gospel is aimed not at the evil-doer but at evil in its source."- Thomas Merton, from Passion For Peace


curioso said...

Yet oddly it takes so much courage for us to truly speak our minds and often violence is our own shield against admitting the truth of our vulnerability. Americans have desperate issues with mortality. I'm sure I am preaching to the choir, but we have to say it a lot; violence comes from fear and hunger and desperation. Being aware of each person near us and communicating honestly is a big job that is hard to do.
If you read the book "The Chalice and the Blade" (sorry I have to check the spelling of the author's name)the author (an anthropologist) makes the case that the family dynamics of a culture predict how likely that country is to go to war. For instance, countries with a disciplined but democratic family structure rarely go to war (think Sweden) while countries with a hierarchial structure and a "might makes right" philisophy, go to war quickly and think little of the consequences (think the US and the middle east). The fight against child abuse and the fight for recognition of all women's rights are not only for the protection of individuals but to make the point that all individuals are worthy of respect, not just the ones with guns.

Hilaree said...

Hi curioso! I'm so glad someone finally commented on this lovely quote. You have so many good points in your post. The one I want to focus on is the point that all individuals are worthy of respect...and to pose the question, "What do we mean by respect?" In our culture, we do not, I repeat, DO NOT respect children. They are considered second class citizens. We institutionalize them from age 4 on, sometimes even earlier, we hit them, we don't listen to their opinions or their desires, etc. Everyone who reads this blog knows how I get all antsy about disrespect toward children. The bottom line is, would we do the same thing to an adult that we loved and cared for? Do we hit adults when they don't obey our commands, or when they argue with us? Do we deprive them of movement or food as we do with children?

Our country is disrespectful of other cultures. Our country is violent, violent, violent. Has anyone out there seen the Michael Moore films, especially Bowling for Columbine, and Farhenheit 911?

I want to add the point that God created each individual with a purpose...EVERY person, no matter their gender or culture or age or disability. This is the reason they are worthy of our respect. They have been formed purposefully, with intention.

I love your comments and I'm so glad you stopped by!