September 9, 2014

Liberal Christians Suggests Nonviolent Strategy Against ISIL

About 50 liberal Christians signed a letter to Barack Obama advocating for a strategy against the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant: Defeat ISIL through non-violence. The letter, signed by ministers and professors from the Church of Christ, Catholicism and Presbyterian Church (USA) advocates for a “just peace.” Stop the bombing. Funnel aid to the displaced refuges. Enact an arms embargo. Lead peace-making efforts. Let the Kurds push back against ISIL. “More bombing will ultimately mean more division, bloodshed, recruitment for extremist organizations, and a continual cycle of violent intervention,” the letter read. “We understand and deeply share the desire to protect people, especially civilians. However, even when tactics of violent force yield a short term displacement of the adversary’s violence, such violence toward armed actors is often self-perpetuating, as the retributive violence that flares up in response will only propitiate more armed intervention in a tit-for-tat escalation without addressing the root causes of the conflict.” The idealistic letter from the religious leaders forgets what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 13: “But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason,” Paul wrote. “They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” It’s not the government’s role to work out nonviolence, but the Church’s. More…

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