What exactly is violence?
I am copying below a piece I have worked on for over 10 years based in my educational, therapeutic and spiritual experience. I will be using it tomorrow in introducing Soulforce to a religious group in Atlanta. I covet your comments, critiques, questions. revtj
"Violence is defined as any thought, word, action, economic or
political structure that predisposes or exposes an individual or group to
danger, ill-health or suffering, in opposition to the dictates of conscience
and free will. Hence, violence opposes the designs of the Creator, who has
created us for blessedness. Biblically speaking, violence is extreme un-neighborliness." ~JoAnne M. Terrell, professor of Theology, Ethics and Culture, Chicago Theological Seminary.
10 Beliefs that have transformed me & my understanding of violence
1. I freely admit I was affected by abusive (i.e. violent) behavior. I resist denial wherever it may arise.
2. I resist and eventually choose to renounce victim-hood. I was a victim but I am not a victim now.
3. I have learned from my past that neither abuse nor complicity with abuse is ever acceptable.
4. I refuse to advance any view which says I deserved abuse or that God willed it.
5. I live in a world where abuse is routinely tolerated, ignored, and justified.
6. It is actually easier to live in a world that rejects violence but this cannot happen until we understand its destructive effects on human living as it manifests physically, mentally, spiritually, economically and institutionally, and discover how it is to be transformed.
7. I do not have to pay anyone money to heal. All I have to pay to heal is attention.
8. I know that if I speak up it may be costly.
9. This is about evolution: physical, mental, spiritual, economic and institutional; therefore, it is a process: the first element of which is conversation.
10. I resolve to speak peacefully and persuasively in opposing violence wherever I see it.
© Rev. T. J. McGiffert, 2006
god over me, god before me, god behind me; on thy path, o god, thou in my steps...
Last edited by revtj; 03-11-2006 at 06:00 PM.