Originally Posted by Joe Brummer
I truly believe the best hope gays and lesbians have to win rights and stop the violence against us is nonviolence. I believe the only hope for the world these days with all the video games and movies teaching our kids violence as the way to solve their conflicts, is nonviolence.
Nathan, I would so urge you and others to read the 17 steps journey, not just once, but again, and again. Don't just apply it to gay rights, apply it to everday life. Nonviolence isn't just about social change in large settings it is about building the "Beloved Community".
I have tons of resources on my website about nonviolence.
You could also visit the King Center where you can do an online course in nonviolence for free.
Being completely nonviolent is much to strive for, and may never happen for most of us. Even Gandhi and King never claimed they could be completely nonviolent. THe world has not gotten to this place by completely evil people and it will not be save by completely good people. Only people.
I have gone through most of the soulforce and the King center info.... and plan to keep going through it. I definitely agree with you that the values of compassion and non-violence are absolutely key to creating a healthy & loving community.
Other than making the changes we mentioned...
Presenting information and asking for clarification
Providing some alternatives to the behavior
Is there anything specifically out of line with non-violent principles?
I think these things happen because all too often the perpetrators of the violence are shielded from the impact of their words and actions.
For example: I spoke about this on Saturday at a college student glbt conference. The session was titled "Loving those who persecute you" and was intended to give the "how to" answers for dealing with homophobic abuse & discrimination. Lucy Wilkes, the leader of the local PFLAG, shared a situation that she didn't know how to handle.
She has four children, three of whom are gay. Lucy's straight son's wife disinvited Lucy's lesbian daughter's partner to their son's one year birthday party. (confused?
Lucy was heartbroken and told her daughter-in-law that she understood her feelings, but that she felt it wasn't right and wouldn't support her decision. She said the rest of the family was not coming to the birthday party if one member was not invited.
Lucy thinks she did the right thing, but she has tremendous guilt and is feeling responsible for all the subsequent drama.
My point to her was that compassion is not always comfortable. I shared some buddhist teaching about understanding "the other" as a key to compassion. Compassion helps us to let go of the hurt and anger, but it does not mean we need to become a doormat.
Suffering is sometimes a part of a non-violent response, but only if it supports the cause of non-violence and isn't suffering for suffering's sake.
Within this university and the Southern Baptist world, I believe they are all pretty much shielded from the impact of their actions. They can destroy a gay person and not have to see the aftermath because they kick him out of their community and most likely shun his family as well.
I believe they need to see the aftermath of their actions. They need to know the pain & hurt they have caused. They need to know that others are becoming aware of the violence they have caused.
Not as a way of punishing or judging them, but to help them truly see "the other" and to be able to honestly evaluate their actions.
But like I said... I know I still have much to learn. Maybe I'm still way off base.