What Jesus Really Said

In response to “Is Nonviolence Naive?” (by Andrew Klager, July 2018), remember this: Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Not “Blessed are the peacekeepers.” We often confuse the two. Making peace is proactive!

Rick Williams
From Facebook

Violence Escalates

I enjoyed “Is Nonviolence Naive?” However, I think there was not enough of a distinction made between pacifism, absorbing the violence without reaction, and nonviolent resistance—which either throws a bar into the spokes of violence to stop it or puts it on public display to arouse outrage. Both tactics are intended for the ultimate redemption of the perpetrators of the violence. I found the discussion question on whether it was correct to punch a neo-Nazi poorly thought out. Violence always escalates (what Walter Wink calls “mimesis”), as can be observed in everything from a common street fight to a war. Mimesis states that, in any violent conflict, the methods of the “attackee”—if he or she resists—will rise to the level of the attacker plus one level. Eventually the “attacker” returns the favor and raises the ante on the level of violence. The question would soon be, “Is it right to kill a neo-Nazi after you have punched him in the face, and the fight escalates?”

Daniel Lehman
New Bern, North Carolina

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