17 January 2009

Violence Resistance

Last night a friend of mine showed me this music video to a recent popular song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuK2A1ZqoWs

One of the images in this music video that has really stood out to me is a clip at the very beginning that only last for a few seconds. As the violence and hostility begins to escalate, a little boy flashes across the screen shooting a fake gun.
This image, as brief as it is, is a perfect reflection of what our fascination with violence looks like everyday. This past summer I interned as a youth director and taught the few middle schoolers who attended the church on Wednesday nights. One evening, we discussed what God's peace looked like and how to implement it into the world. We imagined what the world would look like when there would be perfect peace. One of the middle-school aged boys shocked me and stopped me dead in my tracks during my lesson. "I don't think that a world with peace would be very fun." I immediately questioned him why. "If there wasn't any violence or killing," he replied, "there wouldn't be any good movies or video games."

A chill rose up inside of me. Entertainment. The number one reason why we have become so desensitized to violence.

Numerous times people have become defensive when I raise up this issue. They admit that we are desensitized to violence, but are we really violent ourselves? Not really. Especially compared to other countries where killings are rampant. We've got it together pretty well here in America. Why should we be concerned about genocides and persecution occurring outside of our nation's boundaries? What does social injustice in other countries have to do with us?
Everything. When people everywhere discriminate against others, it challenges one of our most important values as Christians: human beings are created in the image of God. Such violence and dehumanization is a threat to all humans, because all humans possess this God-given quality. As Martin Luther King once said, "Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere."

Since we are so desensitized, the desecration of human beings has been subversively occurring right here in the States. So many people don't believe that such an amazing government as that of the United States could possibly allow unjust violence, but abortion is one of the many ways we are threatening the concept of God's image. Parents can abort their fetus if the baby has a chance of having a handicap or mental illness, such as down syndrome. How long will it be before we permit killing a mentally ill baby once it has been delivered? Why don't we just kill all such people now and "cleanse" our whole human race?
Regardless of its physical/mental/emotional condition, that baby was created in the image of God. A threat to it is a threat to us.

We have the potential to do so much evil. "We can ride our bikes with no handlebars," and we can also easily start genocide. It all starts with a toy gun. Christ has called us to be active peacemakers, but we have somehow become content to be peacekeepers instead. How much longer will we continue to see but then look the other way?

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke

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