Easter and Violence

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Easter Sunday, 2022

What Are We Trying to Conquer?

 

Yes, I just wrote yesterday, but today is Easter Sunday. I’m reminded that this is the day when Jesus, if you believe the Bible, conquered evil and death by coming back to life after having been executed and in a grave for three days. Is this also the day when His Father, the omnipotent Creator of all (if you believe the Bible), killed Pontius Pilate and all the Roman soldiers involved in torturing and killing his only begotten Son? No, it is not. I have read the Bible, and I have not found any passage in it where God takes revenge for Jesus’ death.

    Jesus’ only crime was criticizing the powers that be. And yet, He was humiliated and killed in a terribly gruesome, painful way. Then, as he was dying, if we can believe the Bible, He prayed for those who persecuted Him, and His Heavenly Father, who could have instantaneously wiped all of Rome off the map, let it happen and never punished anyone. To me, this lack of punishment means that, to Jesus and God, peace and love are more important than justice. Here I have to agree with Jesus and God. What could be more obvious? If justice comes before peace, we will never have either.

   According to Father Emanuel Charles McCarthy, Jesus and God submitted to the unjust crucifixion to prove that evil can be conquered by nonviolent love of friends and enemies, and death is not the end. The theologian John L. McKenzie, the only Catholic to serve as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, has said, “If we cannot know from the New Testament that Jesus rejected violence, we can know nothing of his person or message. It is the clearest of teachings.”

   Turn the other cheek. Return good for evil. Pray for those who persecute you. Leave vengeance to God. These are the principles Christians are supposed to follow if they wish to conquer evil and death. But how many Christians believe this? Not many, judging by the Christian horror show we have been watching for the past 1700 years. Christians love Jesus so much, they just have to kill anyone who doesn’t love Him as much or in the same way as they do. While burning heretics at the stake, Christians sent out crusade after crusade for 400 years attempting to kill Muslims and dominate the Holy Land, the sacred home of the nonviolent lover of friends and enemies.

   The word “Islam” means peace. The Prophet's goal was a society in which no person had to fear another’s hand or tongue. But the Sunni Muslim Ottoman Empire dominated much of the world for six hundred years, a feat not accomplished peacefully. Nor does Islam have a reputation for peace today. Yemen. Afghanistan. Iraq. Iran. Syria. Libya. Others have been involved, but there’s no denying that Muslims are killing Muslims. Not peaceful.

   Buddhists are the same. Part of Buddha’s enlightenment was the realization that we are all one. No one can hurt anyone else without hurting themselves. That’s the law of karma. His enlightenment was achieved because Buddha was so self-sacrificially determined to find a way to free humanity from suffering. But not long after Buddha’s death, Buddhists started killing each other over ownership of the true meaning of Buddha’s esoteric teachings. Now, like Christians, Buddhists kill each other for power, money and other indicators of social status.

   Literally thousands of spiritually advanced sages have attempted to persuade us (humanity) to give up violence and start loving each other. This seems to be a hard lesson to learn, but we stand on the verge of understanding that, as Martin Luther King, Jr. told us the night before he was assassinated in 1968, “The choice before us is no longer violence or nonviolence. It's nonviolence or non-existence.” After tens of thousands of years attempting to defeat evil through violence, we are just about to experience the consequences of our philosophical and emotional immaturity.

   Neither nuclear weapons nor carbon dioxide can be defeated through violent competition. They can only be defeated through global cooperation. We have no time for animosity. We have no time for “winning.” We need to shift, right now, from cutthroat competition to loving cooperation in pursuit of truth and universal health and wellbeing. To find out how this could be accomplished through mediation, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediation, the loving way to manage power.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



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  • Steve Leeper
    published this page in Stevezemails 2022-04-17 20:03:40 -0400

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