TO HELL WITH CHRISTIAN PACIFISM AND CIVILIZATION
Why has pacifism become the default position of Christian Anarchists? One obvious answer is the influence of Tolstoy and Gandhi, but I would suggest that Gnosticism has as much to do with Christian pacifism as any biblical influence. An emphasis on spiritual purity above embodied responsibility.
To start with, what would you do if your grandmother was being attacked? (yeah I’m gonna go there) This is the classic “what if” scenario for Christian Pacifists, Secular Pacifists, and non-pacifists. It is bullshit, not worth addressing with more than a singular recommendation to be wary of anyone who tries to stake their argument on such trite situation and intrigue.
The second example I would encourage any and all to stay away from debating si the “Just War” bullshit. For some reason any question of violence among “radical” Christians seems to immediately jump to war, i.e. nation state violence. Everyone who’s noticed this is surely as dismayed as I so I won’t elaborate too much. But I will ask: hoe in the hell do Christian Anarchists or even “radicals” find the “just war” debate so intriguing? Any why do they always seem to equate violence with war? Isn’t everyone against war? I mean everyone who considers themselves a Christian Anarchist or “radical”? So why do Christian anarchists/radicals keep beating this rotting corpse? OK, I get the point, I think most people would agree that war is bad, Dennis Kucinich, etc…but…and here is the huge ass but… shhhh…here it is…. (whisper) not all violence is war! What the fuck do you call an owl hunting a field mouse? A Robin eating a worm? A hunter/gatherer stalking a caribou? So of course we end up asking what is violence a good question to be sure. A question that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard, seen or read a succinct answer to. So I wont try to define violence here in more than a rudimentary way. Let me start by saying what I don’t include in the parameter of vilence. This is short and simple. Property is a reified oppressive concept, if anyone is stuck on this issue (also known as property destruction) I don’t know what to say except that we probably have nothing to say to each other and this article is not for you. (use the lion and the lamb as an example of false hope, eg. What do you do if God’s preference is a non-violent world, become a vegetarian? What then, you are still engaging in violent behavior, vegetables, fruits are treated with violent means, what do you do when the culture you are born into is inherently violent?)
Some other things I don’t mean when I say violence-making people and or other living beings upset. (although this could be a result of violence, I don’t think anger and similar emotional responses are necessarily the result of violence nor are they inherently violent.) What I do mean by violence (remember this is not an all-inclusive definition, merely an example) the destruction and genocide of nature based beings (human and non-human) for the advancement of technological/scientific advancement eg. The culture of cities, civilization. So yeah, I’ll leave it at that, hardly comprehensive I realize, but it’ll do.
Isn’t it in keeping with the life of Jesus Christ to say “fuck it all”? I mean shouldn’t we come to a sort of hopelessness where we cry out to God asking why all is vanity, hopelessness? If we truly come to this relationship with Christ in our present age I think the question of violence and or non-violence “gives up the ghost ” so to speak.
When we realize the hopelessness of non-violent and violent means we find ourselves reborn in a living world free from the prison of dead theory. And what is pacifism but a sort of dead construct, easily exalted via Gandhi, Martain Luther King, but dead to the lives of most 21st century prisoners of civilization what violence do you encounter on a daily basis? What non-violent means do you employ?
A Christian can be non-violent, steadfastly upholding the ideals of pacifism and still be accountable in an ultra-violent culture. Jesus Christ was not praying to the God of non-violence, he was praying to the God of liberation! God, liberate us now from ideological idols! In our present age non-violence/pacifism have become idols of the radical Christian community bogged down in dead leftist ideology and the stench of dead movements of the 20th century (where non-violence was a successful tactic to capture political power) It is possible, even necessary to escape the violence vs non-violence dichotomy in favor of an embodied acceptance of responsibility. This means taking responsibility, collectively and individually. Remember the worlds of Dietrich Bonhoeffer “we have learned to late that…” and let us not come to the end of our lives only to discover that we have not done all we could to love our brothers and sisters (human and non-human) resistance to civilization will be labeled as violence by defenders of civilization and its false critics alike but bringing about the end of this death march is surely much closer to loving the enemy than allegiance to any idol, violent or otherwise.