“In a world swimming in violence, in a land where “messiah” meant militancy, Jesus never acts violently. Whenever violence is addressed, Jesus condemns it. Whenever His followers try to act violently, they are confronted. Whenever Jesus encounters people who deserve a violent punishment, Jesus loves them. And in doing so, He leaves His followers with a nonviolent example to follow. When people around the globe think that American Christians are pro-war, enamored with violence, and fascinated with military might, something is terribly wrong. No one in the first century would have made the same conclusion regarding Jesus and his followers.”
Fundamentalist Christians, which I believe is a totally American thing, have by some of their basic messages very much contradicted the words of Jesus when it comes to violence. As the closing sentence in the above quote indicates first century Christians were very much against any form of violence. When a Roman soldier wanted to become a Christian the first thing he had to do was to find a different occupation. Being a soldier and being a Christian were just not compatible with each other.
Jesus condemned violence in his day and I am sure he is doing the same thing today. Most of the fundamentalists today are very strong advocates of our military complex. They fight tooth-and-nail for annual increases in our military spending even while calling for drastic cuts in programs for the poor. They are convinced that God wants them to bring “freedom” to the world no matter the violent costs. We as a country have done nothing but reinforce the belief of the rest of the world of our love of violence. We do nothing about controlling guns when the rest of the world has. We have a military that we spend forty times more per citizen than any other in the world. Our violent movies and video games are marketed around the world. Most of our aid to foreign countries is in the form of weaponry.
I think it is about time that those of us who are followers of Jesus and his commands start pushing back against the violence in this country. We are supposedly THE Christian nation of the world. Why don’t we even begin to act like it?