I kind of take Jesus seriously. One of the things that he refused to do is use power over people or violence against people. So if I’m following the way of Jesus, I’m a pacifist, right? Except the implication in current usage is that I’m a mealy-mouthed wussy boy with all the guts and spine of a lame-o creature that doesn’t have guts or a spine And that isn’t true. It certainly wasn’t true about Jesus. His lifestyle, teachings and death were a radical In Your Face to the dominant culture of his day. That’s part of why the losers and rejects liked him so much; Jesus treated them like valuable humans.
(Most of western Christianity has much more to do with making people feel good while maintaining the status quo of existing power structures than it does with following Jesus. How else can you explain that while the bible tells us Christians repeatedly and insistently to care for the poor and to love people no matter what, we spend our time and money shouting about the threat of The Homosexuals and The Muslims? I thought I’d point that out, in case you hadn’t noticed.)
I believe very strongly in good news story that Jesus gave the world. I’m trying to align my lifestyle with what I believe, and I am (in theory) willing to die for what I believe. But I’m not willing to kill for it. Killing for Jesus doesn’t work any more than does beating your wife because you love her.
I’m committed to non-violence, but I wish there was a more revolutionary term for it than pacifist. Maybe I could be a Jesusist.
Anyway all that was prelude to this: I took my son to his first shooting lesson today. Apparently he’s a natural. We had a great time. No contradiction, right?