Violence is not inherently evil; it is seldom righteous.
Over the years, I’ve learned there are a lot things I can and should absorb for the glory of God. When I look into the mirror of my soul, the greatest scars are not the things done to me. I’ve made peace with those events. These days, it really takes a lot to offend me. Perhaps somewhat more tender are things I’ve done to myself, but I can live with those, too. Far more disturbing and painful are the injuries I’ve caused others. Those scars on my soul are still quite tender. If we cannot be made the feel the pains of others, particularly those we have caused, we are something less than human.
There are things for which I am quite willing to die a hideous death. I’m altogether willing to pay the price to prevent or minimize human suffering. It’s not always that simple, because a certain amount of human suffering is simply part of this life. In the broadest sense, there is nothing I can do about most of it. Over the same years I’ve made peace with injuries done to me, I’ve also made peace with my limitations. There is a divine logic which determines the things we can change, and the things we simply must watch and feel our own sorrow.
So with the same logic by which there are some things for which I’ll die, there are other things where I am honestly willing to see others die. I suppose, in the final analysis, most of us have those certain few lines we simply will not cross without taking someone down with us. Yet again, over those same years, I’ve found certain fundamental commitments I simply cannot ignore, regardless of any logic. Such are those rare possibilities out there in the world where failure to fight is sin.
It has nothing to do with any reasonable chance of success. It’s the carved-in-stone necessity of trying. They aren’t likely to be precisely the same in any two of us. There’s always the high probability we cannot even know precisely what would set us in motion under every imaginable context. Chances are we will encounter some places where, after passing through, we realize we should have fought, regardless of the outcome, and that still having survived without fighting is somehow shameful.
As I read news accounts every day, some of them call out to a part of me: What would I have done? Asking that question can help us define the shape of that bedrock of character inside us all. For example, were I employed by Haliburton or one of it’s subsidiaries, and someone attempted to force me to participate in certain obscene private festivities revealed in the news, I’d be willing to kill as many as it takes to stop those efforts to force me. It won’t matter that I’d likely be killed myself, or at least thrown into prison on trumped up charges so as to cover up their filthy corporate culture. I’d have to fight with every means at my disposal. So long as I have the choice to dodge it, I have no interest in what people do to themselves, or agree to do to each other.
There are lot of things which do not alarm me in the least. I’ve seen some truly awful things humans can do — it was part of my job in composing Military Police command alerts. I found it repulsive a pregnant gal was smoking crack, but my convictions say it’s her right destroy her own child. I find abortion an abomination before the Lord, but I find His Word says I can’t choose for the mother except in a certain narrow context currently improbable on this earth. What’s the difference between her aborting that child and simply bathing it in toxic chemicals in the womb? On the other hand, try doing some things to a child for whom I am blood kin, and I won’t hesitate to snuff your candle. And afterward I won’t have so much as a tinge of regret, except to note you didn’t really have to be such a fool.
Or if someone can be manipulated into any number of degrading things, I say it’s their own fault for lacking character. That would be most of the human race. I’d condemn the manipulators, maybe even hope to take some action against them, but in the end, there’s really little we can do to end it. The case is stronger if the victim has no expectation of developing resistance — children and the disabled — but each case can be quite different. There are no hard and fast rules. So I do devote a little of my time to keeping a certain amount of physical fitness and even some martial arts practice.
Sometimes all I have left is praying for God’s justice. Yet, there remains a slender selection of events for which I’m quite willing to help people meet their Maker.