Thursday, May 8, 2008

Shane Claiborne: Christianity is non-violent

Like the Quakers, Claiborne believes that Christianity is a religion of non-violence and that Jesus, in his life and death, modeled non-violence. To Claiborne, there's no room for "just war" theory, only "no war" theory.

A couple of quotes: here Shane is quoting a doctor in a hospital in Iraq: "Violence is for those who have lost their imagination."

From Claiborne: "The only thing harder than hatred is love. The only thing harder than war is peace. The only thing that takes more work, sweat and tears than division is reconciliation."

Claiborne likes "creative" acts of nonviolence that surprise people and get them to think.

I believe these "playful" surprises can be helpful if understood; possibly harmful if misunderstood or seen as frivolous. Cultivating a spirit or mindset in which violence seems unnatural and non-violence natural is more important, I think. (Here, for example, I think of the day-to-day lives of the Amish, who don't need to do performance art for peace because their lives speak peace.) Also I believe it's important to cultivate patience because sometimes we turn to violence in frustration as a way to resolve a problem "once and for all." Patience and peace, now that I think about it, are fruits of the spirit.

No comments: