The Evil Of Violence

 

Introduction


Brutality, bullies, war, guns, terrorism, shootings and so on (but not necessarily in any order).

The following articles can be found under poem number 25:

1)  Regarding Someone Else's Life.
2)  God, War And Violence.
3)  Why Boxing Is Wrong.
4)  The Death Penalty.
5)  Torture.
6)  The Pacifist, Pacifism, Violence And War.


"TV is the single most significant factor contributing to violence in America."
Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network





Brutality


1.  Of You

Of you I tell and teach my children, "Don’t hurt that soul! Never, never, never,
But treat them like something very precious that’s been left in your care forever.
Yes, now and always, for they're a human being too, not a thing, nor wood or steel,
But a living, breathing part of all we are, another who can think and feel."

And hence why no noble person would act otherwise via some word or deed,
Injuring being a weakness, not a strength, and cursed are they who cause to bleed;
Such but evil, love knowing nothing of it, and why of you I tell and teach,
"Don’t hurt that soul! Never, never, never, but always higher and better reach."

By Lance Landall





2.  Bullies Don't Pick On A Nobody


Bullies don’t pick on a nobody, but a somebody, this reason to take heart,
You hardly insignificant if they’re honing in on you, but possibly smart,
Or there’s something about you they’re jealous of, and bullies are oft cowards inside,
Who can’t tackle big fish, so they go for smaller fish, who’re stranded by some low tide.

Therefore, when they pick on you, you’re given some importance, a fact one can’t ignore,
’Cause they wouldn’t waste their time if you weren’t a person of interest, just a bore.
And so you must have something going for you, it just bullies who hardly appeal,
All why I’d puff my chest out and stand up to them, and don’t be surprised if they squeal.

By Lance Landall






War


3.  Soldier Boy


Soldier boy, I see you’ve met with reality, the hell of war, what you saw,
And God wasn’t there, was He, but just a devil who supplied the props, wrote the score.
Hence why some of you snap — well, somewhere along the line — and lost limbs depress too,
Life hardly the same anymore, and yet you’ve years ahead, so much to think through.

You heard the patriotic roar, but it wasn’t them going to war, just you,
And your mates, sons, brothers, and fathers, some who mortar fire blew a hole right through.
Such now the ingredients of those regular nightmares, and questions haunting too,
You knowing that your heart’s been hardened, and as with all wars, society’s too.

I heard about that mass shooting the other day, another marine, I see,
The cost not just occurring on the battle field, but within society.
It starting early with computer games, kids blasting others to smithereens,
And then graduating to the real McCoy, hence those home-grown mass shooting scenes.

But one has reason to ask, who and what is really behind these wars we see?
Vietnam and Iraqi two that should never have been, a shameful legacy.
Therefore, when’s a hero a hero, rather than a legalised assassin?
While, God forbid, even proudly professing to be a born-again Christian.

Oh, soldier boy, Jesus never said anything about Christians bearing arms,
And as for patrioticness — well, much of what we have seen truly alarms.
Perhaps you’re not a Christian, nor using the cross as your banner, just a flag,
Like those flags in other countries flying at half mast too, where heavy hearts sag.

Yes, I can see why you’re tortured so, despite that “Welcome Home” hero parade,
Any violence toward others being what your Mum and Dad once forbade.
The smells, sounds and consequences of violence now forever in your mind,
That right to kill sitting uneasy with the wrong of killing, all wars but blind.

Yes, how many sons, brothers and fathers did you slay with deadly precision?
Justifying such hellishness by saying that it wasn’t your decision.
Their daughter, sister or mother torn apart emotionally, bloodied too,
Such nothing to be proud of, those medals best kept in a drawer, it all askew.

Maybe you did what you felt you had to, some enemy approaching your shores,
Their intentions murderous, which any sensible country hardly ignores.
But killing is still killing, and no soldier’s left untouched, nor any country,
And why in our victory over an enemy, we should never glory.

So, soldier boy, tell those computer bound kids who’re blasting others to smithereens
That you’ve witnessed the shocking reality of those sickening, bloody scenes.
That revel in such they shouldn’t, but practice and preach the sanctity of life,
Lest next it be them grieving the loss of a daughter, sister, mother or wife,

Or, Heaven forbid, they themselves randomly up and taking another’s life.

And Heaven forbid that they be found amongst those moralless soldiers who rape,
Or who torture —yes, civilians attacked too, hence those horrified kids who gape.
Oh, the stories many soldiers could tell, but don’t, they well knowing what goes on,
And why on returning home they can struggle with that civilian hat they don.

By Lance Landall


"We Christians may not do as Americans something that we must not do as Christians. As we listen to and debate arguments about going to war, note how often our Christian identity is subordinated to our American identity. We have been so formed by the collusion of the church with America that we find it difficult to even distinguish between Christian and national identity, and harder to subordinate our national identity to our identity in Christ."
Jonathan R. Wilson





War


4.  As Bad As Our Enemy


Mark looked up from reading the newspaper, disgust written all over his youthful face.
He glanced at his dad who was enjoying the heat that was coming from the old fireplace.
“What do you make of those things those soldiers did in Iraq, Dad, of which the world now knows?”
“Are you referring to the mistreatment of prisoners, son?”  “Yes, Dad, and those photos.”

“Well, son, one could say that such is the dark side of patriotism, tragically,
Given that patriotism’s often just another word for hate and bigotry.
Some people are so blinded by such, son, that they can’t seem to see beyond their own shores,
Which is why anything goes when it comes to war, and more so those wrongly driven wars.

At the end of the day, such shows the true character of those who carried out such things,
For there is no getting away from the fact, that from one’s heart and mind, such evil springs.
Yes, people can point to this and that, blame those above them, even say they were forced to,
But you won’t see anyone doing such things where their heart and mind is loving and true.

Yes, once we cross a certain boundary, we’re no better than devils, effectively,
And those who've distorted religious convictions, even worse devils, undoubtedly.
Hence why many commit atrocities in God’s name, and in patriotism’s too,
For often the two are linked, along with personal hang-ups — a very nasty brew!

And hence the likes of those inflammatory photo shots, that even sense would not take,
Which violated every code of human decency, and which only fools would break.
But oh, how some love to flaunt their evil, thus showing folk back home how revenge is sweet;
Images of hatred and a perverted sense of justice, that just contempt should meet.

Yes, I wonder how many secretly applauded — accomplices, effectively,
Shackled by their patriotic fever, and a militant religiosity.
Yes, deluded, short-sighted, and bitter souls, who bring just as much shame upon their country,
And who fail to see beyond their own shores, are lacking in love for all humanity.”

“How do folk end up this way, Dad?”  “Well, son, many things contribute to such a sickness,
But at the end of the day, everyone has a choice, and should mind those things they profess,
For when we take the moral high ground, and then behave just as bad as our enemy,
We're even worse, and are under a much greater curse, for we know far better, don’t we?”

By Lance Landall






War


5.  All The Blood That We Spill


It might be noble to fight for your country, but whose war is it? So let’s mind,
Lest some nasty wound and horrible experience later, bad news you find.
Because no wars should ever be, folk slow to take up arms and kill another,
For given we’re humanity, we’re each others long lost sister or brother.

All need to have an appreciation of the heinousness of killing, and
Should uphold the sanctity of life, war being a curse to both man and land.
And this why people become pacifists, they anti harming their fellowman,
Against which, given the preciousness of each of us, no one should plot or plan.

It's seemingly only leaders who go warring, not common men in the street,
Who are forced to whether they want to or not, encountering success or defeat.
Hence those loved ones who return in a body bag, or who still lie where they fell,
War but the product of evil and mindlessness — oh, all the blood that we spill.

By Lance Landall


A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on
programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968)






Shootings
This poem (and the one below it) relates to the shooting and killing of at least
58 people at a music festival in Las Vegas, October 2017.



6.  About That Sniper


You hate what that sniper did in Las Vegas, and hey, I’m with you on that one,
So why aren’t we as critical of Hollywood’s love affair with fist and gun?
And I’m meaning, standing up, speaking out, we just as hot under the collar,
’Cause those movies are full of same evil acts which we aid via every dollar.

Such cruel gunmen act alone or on behalf, but whatever the case may be,
We’re supporting such violence and sickness via those movies or DVD.
Yes, by all means call for tighter restrictions on guns, and other measures too,
But mind those same movies and computer games because they’re equally askew.

It’s said that what we watch we become, and of course there are copycats, you know,
All why once, such unhealthy carnage, movie producers weren’t allowed to show.
So what went wrong? — aided by our desires for more, and here we are today,
Those same scenes played out on the six o’clock News; and what’s Hollywood got to say?

Here, have some more, and we’ll throw in sex with that violence, ’cause who’s complaining?
Door sales up and DVDs hardly slowing down given no one's abstaining.
And such not making sense to me, because can’t people see, or don’t they want to?
And if the latter’s correct, who might the finger also be pointing at? You?

By Lance Landall





Shootings
Christian content or degree.
This poem relates to the shooting and killing of at least 58 people at a music
festival in Las Vegas, October 2017.



7.  Where Was Christ In Las Vegas?


Well,

I’ll tell you where. At Heaven’s gates ready to return, and pleading, “Can I go?”
And His Father replying, “Soon, Son, soon. When the time is right I’ll let you know.
I know that it’s breaking Your heart, Son, Mine too, and I every bit as angry,
And longing to end the reign of Our adversary, all the insanity.

Remember the thirty odd years You spent on Earth, Son, and how long that seemed too,
But the wait necessary, and so much riding on it, which of course You knew.
And it’s the same here, Son, and that wait just as painful too, and in fact more so,
Evil and suffering greater, and Satan’s plans for Earth having a way to go.”

Yes, that’s where Christ was in Las Vegas, He knowing wounds, death and wicked men too,
His empathy and sympathy etched on His face, wrath soon making its debut.
But meantime the view excruciating, Las Vegas but one of many scenes,
Satan knowing his time’s short, wickedly using any and every means.

And Christ and His Father not alone in Their sadness, ’cause all Heaven weeps too,
Fallen man blighting the universe, Earth still spinning but terribly askew.
“Oh, when will it end?” angels sigh, and they waiting for the Father to say, “Go!”
And “Go!” He will soon say, and that day of reckoning every sniper will know.

Yes, there’ll come a day when evil men will have to face their Judge, and penalty,
Their end sure and terrible, they having thereby forfeited eternity.
And Satan and his cohorts will suffer with them, a fate that they all deserve,
But Paradise, peace and no more suffering for those who Christ have sought to serve.

So,

Satan’s ultimate goal must play out — total control of Earth — that all may see
(Including the universe), that God was right, and He deserving the glory.
Man having chosen badly, something that won’t happen again; it plain to see
That Christ is the way, truth and life, and soon will end Satan’s confederacy.

Where was Christ in Las Vegas? Yes, I’ll tell you. At Heaven’s gates ready to go,
And His Father replying, “Soon, Son, soon. When the time is right I’ll let You know.”
And though now seems right to us, God knows better, and that’s where faith and trust come in,
And meantime too, as far as we go, hope, love and goodwill to all men within.


By Lance Landall


"You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry" (Psa 10:17, NIV).

“ ‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written,
"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’ ” (Rom 12:19, RSV).

“ ‘And the King [Christ] will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of
these my brethren, you did it to me.’ ‘Then He will say to those on the left hand ,‘Depart from me, you cursed, into
the everlasting fire [meaning total annihilation] prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (Matt 25:40,41, NKJV).





Shootings.


8.  Forget The Why Of It All


There’s a lot of hopelessness, frustration, anger and pain out there, and hence why
In America where everyone’s got a gun, those mass shootings are high.
They taking it out on society, going out in a blaze of glory,
Figuring that they’ve nothing to lose, suicide being part of the story.

And thus access to guns, explosives and whatever else aiding the nightmare,
It all so easy; and why would anyone who doesn’t believe in God care?
Nor those devoid of a sound upbringing, though it must be said that some can snap,
A lack of love, thought and care oft aiding, no one noticing that dripping tap.

Society’s different now, this tossed, that tossed, thus it hardly surprising
That this happens or that happens, and why problems, troubles and crime are rising.
So forget the why of it all, because we should clearly know why, shouldn’t we,
Or doesn’t it suit to know, we simply being a hell-bent society?


By Lance Landall





Guns


9.  "It's Not The Gun's Fault," They Say


No, it’s not the gun’s fault, but hey, it’s still a gun, a cruel life taking machine,
So who would want one, love one, because even killing creatures is cruel and mean.
Creatures hardly objects, but lives, they having ears and eyes, feelings and mates too,
Thus one needing to be less sensitive in order to kill, artfully pursue.

Yes, there’s something horrible about that lying in wait (as murderers do),
That having a life in your sights, and finger on the trigger — it all askew.
But hunters aside, guns are a threat anywhere, a clear symbol of evil,
Their sole purpose being to kill — and the dark side effects, soldiers know so well,

Or at least those plagued with post traumatic stress disorder, having eyeballed hell.

Yes, every bullet fired having an intention, a very deadly one,
Which surely reflects on one’s character, for who would get pleasure from a gun?
An innocent, handsome creature grazing, the next minute shot through the heart, oh,
It’s little ones left distraught and fearful, and it’s the same with humans, you know.

And listen, Christian, Eden knew no weapons, nor death, so what is it with you,
Gun owner or hunter, hardly in line with that new life that Christ said pursue.
The Gospel all about love, returning to Eden, where creatures weren’t food nor prey,
And so it’ll be on the Earth made new, yet what do your actions shout today,

Man’s fall being your excuse, and Eden not your example, it’s sad to say.

No, it’s not the gun’s fault that people and creatures get shot, but a gun’s a gun,
Held, levelled and fired, that gaping hole and gushing blood not my idea of fun.
Such deaths hardening each shooter’s heart, taking a little more light from the world,
And so it’ll be ’till that love affair’s over, and guns no longer coldly held.

Yes, love’s not in the heart when a trigger’s pulled, but a toxic adrenalin,
A hateful or divided heart having won the toss, atheist or Christian.
Every factory and gun shop having blood on their hands, profiteering,
Each customer pridefully clutching their purchase, and over each kill, cheering.

But no wonder, the young learning early via those violent computer games,
That trash on TV that glories in such too, and wantonly kills and maims.
Bad enough that we’ve the angry and disturbed skulking within society,
Who all too often (midst plotting or a fit of rage) turn to such weaponry.

Guns can be a power thing, many folk having a cowboy mentality,
And far reaching bullets allowing people to be picked off so easily.
All why guns are more desired, and a windfall for snipers who wish to spray,
And so it’ll remain until sense sees guns pulled from circulation one day.


By Lance Landall






Guns


10.  Guns, Knee Jerks And Legislation


Everyone born on this planet should be brought up with a hatred of guns,
Killing machines that take the lives of humans, mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons.
Oh, to think that anyone would have a love affair with guns, ever want one,
When what they’re all about is death, the taking of someone’s life, which all should shun.

Even soldiers and those who’re in the armed offenders squad should respect this too,
Only seeing weaponry in light of what might be necessary to do.
And thus they too taking no pride in them, having no personal collection,
But quickly disparaging them, pointing all in the opposite direction.

Oh, those voices of protest come calls for restricting the sale of certain guns,
Guns that are even more murderous, the stuff of those mass shooting hit and runs.
But is it any wonder there’s a lust for guns, computer games rife with them,
Yet few voices that condemn, many nightly watching violence and mayhem.

Oh, when will belief in the sanctity of life (for all) truly be upheld;
Some people angrily shouting that mass murderers don’t belong in this world.
Such implying that they too would like to do some culling, get rid of a few,
Those that they deem unworthy, acting somewhat like Hitler, those mass shooters too.

Hence why some clamour for the death penalty, the thirst for blood alive and well,
When we should try to salvage such humans, freeing their hearts and minds of such ill.
Even should they remain in prison, best help them see the error of their ways,
Showing our contempt of killing, our higher standing, desire to redeem strays.

But the chances slim given that love affair with guns, that thirst for blood, like theirs
(Mass shooters, that is),
It only being the truly loving, caring, noble person that every life reveres
(Be it hers or his).
They not only shunning revenge, but those games and movies where killings are rife,
And where little regard is shown for younger minds and the sanctity of life.

By Lance Landall





Guns


11.  Come On, America


It appears that within America there’re still those who have that wild west mentality,
They toting or hoarding guns, and deludedly thinking that such are a necessity,
Unlike the rest of us who’ve managed fine without such, even with a police force gun free,
And we just as protective of the rights of all when it comes to freedom and liberty.

The truth is, that owning a gun doesn’t guarantee a thing, for one thing’s clear, believe me,
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, one’s rights being eroded very subtly.
Sure tougher gun laws, or the removal of guns, may well precede some evil agenda,
But such not really necessary, Trojan horses oft being the ploy of the offender.

Meantime, where there’re guns, and in times like these, there’ll be those single and multiple casualties,
Many folk harbouring grievances, and then there’s that violence on TV that one sees,
Let alone those computer games that kind of set kids up — well, certainly the disturbed ones —
Who engrossed in such, and so irresponsibly fed such, soon pull those triggers on real guns.

Yes, it’s really quite simple, and why guns should never be made available publicly,
And why there should be just as bigger hue and cry over what’s daily dished up on TV,
Not forgetting those violent games — but hey, who’s to blame, those who make such, or those who buy such?
And just look at those parents who such weaponry and harmful celluloid eagerly clutch.

So come on, America, your love affair-cum-obsession with guns is costing lives, and,
Rather than being a blessing, is more like a plague that’s once again stalking your troubled land.
And hey, what mixed signals are you sending your children, and more so those of you who’re Christians,
For isn’t it the devil who loves weaponry and violence, and thereby surely wins?

Oh dear, “In God we trust,” they sing, and yet hanging onto their guns just in case He may not,
Or lest somebody pose a threat, and then there is hunting, hence that hypocritical shot.
Yes, they calling violence and killing bad, except where they seem to deem it isn’t so,
And why their Saviour — Christ — must shake His head, for didn’t He tell them to stop such long ago?

Yes, guns aren’t the answer, even laws, but changed hearts and minds, a seeking after truth and right;
All why a form of religion won’t suffice, and more so one linked to military might.
But rather, all turning from wrong, repudiating any kind of force having seen sense,
Otherwise we’ll just be looking at a sham, smoke and mirrors-cum-nothing more than pretence;
And the ill that we’re seeing now (and clearly much more to come), will be the sad consequence.

By Lance Landall


The poem was penned 1 January 2013.





Brutality


12.  No Reason Justifies ill


Once we pick up a weapon, clench our fists, and use such to hurt another soul,
We join the ranks of fools and tyrants, those ones who’re devoid of a noble goal.
Some being indoctrinated zealots, others being pawns of prejudice and hate,
Or wounds that they’ve not surmounted, but all in a kind of devil possessed state.

Yes, violence belonging to the realm of darkness which no one should enter,
Where ills are concocted according to the cleverness of their inventor.
Mass shootings, bombings, bashings and torture all part and parcel of its evil,
And so opposite to love which would never think to deceive, force, wound or kill.

Be it a weapon, our fists, even a hurtful tongue, we’re off on the wrong track,
That of a foe, our heart having changed from a healthy red to a ghastly black.
And oh, how such can return to bite us, and bite us it should, good and hard too,
Because there are certain things in life that we should never ever think to do.

So many are wrongly fed, deluded, self obsessed or otherwise obsessed,
And indulging in a territory where one is soon cursed rather than blessed.
Love not having a bar of it, but quickly picking up the trumpet or pen,
And denouncing any such wrongfulness coming from such women or men,

Because no reason justifies ill.

By Lance Landall


Penned in memory of those who died and those who suffered as a result of the
Christchurch mass shooting — March 15, 2019.






Terrorism


13.  Foul Play


You can let off your bombs, whoever you are, and whatever your agenda,
But regardless of your cause or gripe, you’re simply but a callous offender.
For no human should ever seek to hurt another, and thus why I believe
That there will be a day of reckoning for all who maim, destroy and deceive.

So don’t waste your time with some explanation, as there won’t be one good enough,
Because such terrible evil shows one who’s ill, even a pawn, far from tough.
Yes, those who’ve strength of character, a good heart and noble mind, don’t act that way,
Knowing that such bloodshed is exactly that, the work of those who’ve gone astray.

So be it your bombings, mass shootings, assassinations or brutality,
Or even some engineered catastrophe, they’re a form of insanity,
And hence why you often hide behind a mask, whatever that disguise may be,
Even shoving the blame on others, who as a result, suffer terribly.

Yes, you have your scapegoats, those things that suit and fit very conveniently,
Those excuses by the dozen that can never justify such injury;
And note this too, that those who fight fire with fire get burnt themselves, eventually,
And so too rioters, I might add, who foul their own nest, harm their economy.

Yes, you can carry out your villainy, even in the name of God above,
But nothing will convince me that He’s behind such, nor that it’s done out of love.
For those who know love, and the same God that I know, wouldn’t think to act that way,
As harming and loving are opposites, and thus harm all to do with foul play.

By Lance Landall





Terrorism
This poem was penned on the 8 Oct 2014.


14.  ISIS


If ever there was evil, a horrid sickness that defies explanation,
It’s you, ISIS, your maniacal hatred, your satanic perpetration.
You’ve no heart, no soul, a disengaged mind, a bloody record that’s stench sickens,
And thus why justice demands your exit, and the foresight of good men beckons.

Hey, I’ve no problem with religion, but this is plain madness that we’re seeing,
For any human whose thinking is sound doesn’t mistreat another being.
Nor for one moment contemplate murdering them, and so barbarically,
Which proves that darkness has engulfed you, ISIS, hence your violent bigotry.

Yes, the ways of the likes of you (atheistic or religious, by the way),
Have never improved the lot of humanity, have never been seen to pay.
And there’s been many of you, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, to name a few,
And let’s not forget those burnings at the stake — oh, what deluded people do!

Yes, some take the Christian Bible, for example, and pointing ignorantly,
Justify their acts which are actually wrongful, and their teachings heresy.
And why it’s them that are errant, and those beliefs that sanction atrocities,
And via this or that, oft under the guise of some good, the rights of others seize.


By Lance Landall


ISIS is a Sunni extremist group that follows al-Qaeda’s hard-line
ideology and adheres to global jihadist principles.





Religious persecution


15.  Religion's Baddies


It’s the likes of ISIS (bigoted murderers), and ISIS-like religious folk

(Who’d love to legislate their will and ways — and in time, no doubt more fires stoke),
Who give both God and religion a bad name, and who make it hard for others,
Those who’d never force, maim or kill anyone-cum-fellow sisters or brothers.

Religion’s one thing, sharing your beliefs and pointing out errant beliefs too,
But wanting to rule the world and kill so-called infidels — man, that’s sick and askew.
Yes, I could say sorry for coming on strong, but I don’t think a sorry’s due,
For who in their right mind would condone such, and something so satanic pursue?

And they pointing to God! Well, such would make me laugh if it wasn’t so evil,
So darn Hitler-like, so unenlightened, so medieval and primeval.
Yes, it the product of darkened minds, indoctrinated clones-cum-the misled,
Who plague this Earth with their terror and venomously spout the ill they’ve been fed.

And hey, they disowned by many of their own, fellow Muslims who disagree,
They knowing such isn’t the way of either God or good men, but that all be free;
And I’m sure you know what I mean by that — yes, civil, religious liberty,
All following their own path, but not forcing, maiming, killing mercilessly.

No, not turning to weapons, not seeking control stealthily or legally,
But turning to the ways of love, letting folk be-cum-living harmoniously.
And that’s the Christmas message, isn’t it, “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men,”
Who lessons from the past should’ve learnt, and thus not over and over again.

Yes, religion’s baddies, for though one could say there’re some strange religions out there,
It’s these violent, bigoted baddies who’re more the concern and cause for fear,
'Cause tolerance is foreign to them, it their way or not at all, I’m afraid,
Hence their resorting to trickery, dark and inhumane ways, bullets and blade.

Yes, it’s hardly the voice of God they’re hearing, and hardly His words they’re reading,
'Cause Christ who came to save folk (one going by His words), and for whom He's pleading,
Would hardly order such killings, condone such use of force, sanction bigotry;
Yes, He who bore no weapon, raised no hand, nor forced His ways legislatively.

By Lance Landall


"Persecution, whenever it occurs, establishes only the power and cunning of the persecutor,
not the truth and worth of his belief."
H.M.Kallen

"Persecution is disobeying the most solemn injunction of Christianity under the sham plea of upholding it."
Paul Chatfield





Terrorism
In memory of all on board Flight MH17 that was shot
down on the 17th July, 2014
.


16.  Flight MH17


No, they won’t be coming home anymore, and all because of a crazy war,
Yes, another one, as if weapons are ever the answer, but at the core,
And hence those innocent casualties — and in this case, ’round three hundred of them;
It another outrageous act that every man, woman and child should condemn.

And it only took one missile, the product of madness; and a common scene,
For look at Israel and Hamas and that same illness that Northern Ireland’s seen.
And yes, let’s add Syria to the many, Russia and Chechnya not alone,
But also those who throw acid or condemn women to death via rock and stone.

So when will it stop and no more bodies fall from the sky onto foreign land,
Nor any innocent person suffer via some solder’s or terrorist’s hand?
For every such assault, wound or death is an outrage, lives being no one’s to take,
And callous injury the hallmark of evil in which devils have a stake.

And so back to flight MH17 and the horror and ill or it all,
And which saw the world sit up and take notice, though all wounds and deaths should appal.
And why mankind should’ve learnt by now that weaponry at best is for defence,
And thus never for committing some atrocious and unthinkable offence.

So no, they won’t be coming home anymore, their loved ones left with shock and pain,
And all because of a deadly missile that locked onto a passenger plane.
And there they all were, full of hopes and dreams — yes, everyday folk like you and I,
Whom wickedness even sought out at thirty three thousand feet up in the sky.

By Lance Landall





Brutality
Christian content or degree.


17.  Killer Drivers


When someone deliberately drives a car into a crowd — an evil thing —
I just know there’s a devil like I know there’s a God of whose goodness I’ll sing.
Because I see Him in loving acts of kindness and clear-cut answers to prayer,
And why I’m not an evolutionist, for such gives one no reason to care.

Oh yes, I’m glad I believe in a day of reckoning, a Law to go by,
'Cause such engenders a healthy respect for consequences; such wisdom’s eye.
And what does one gain by hurting people, but a harder heart, a sadder mind,
It surely copying a devil, not a God who’s loving, thoughtful and kind.

Okay, you might laugh, scoff at the idea of a God, but there are two forces,
One motivated by love, and one by evil — yes, two different courses.
And both having a certain intelligence that no big bang could create,
An intelligence one uses for good or ill, truth or falsehood, love or hate.

Yes, for acts of kindness, or for wickedly mowing people down with a car,
The second like a destructive meteorite, the first like a bright, shiny star.
A devil in one, God in the other, 'cause what else could it possibly be?
All why one needs to believe; the alternative pointless, hopeless and empty.


By Lance Landall





18.  Weakness


Weakness often turns to force because it doesn’t have the strength to act nobly,
And so, it takes the easy way out, and why it’s prone to acting cowardly.
All why it also hangs out with the mob, or those who’ll take care of it for you —
One way or another, brother — ’cause they’re just as weak and unenlightened too.

Those who harm are driven by inner issues or a sick ideology;
Such not the measure of a man but more a foe, the wrong way always easy.
Hence why weakness spurns the right way, succumbs to pressure and oft carries out ill,
And this why wherever weakness is found, it’s a certainty that all’s not well.


By Lance Landall






Uprisings
This poem was penned November 2014


19.  With Syria In Mind


Yes, I’m all for freedom and liberty, am strongly opposed to tyranny,
But what is gained by those violent uprisings that destroy one’s own country?
And that in the process sees thousands of lives lost — oh, what a terrible cost!
And why those new days that dawn seldom bring sunshine, but rather, another frost.

And then there’s those refugees,

They numbering in the millions, staring at disease and daily misery,
And oft not returning home despite the fact they’ve been relieved of tyranny,
Though what for? A crippled country-cum-wrecked infrastructure, towns full of ruins,
Gun battles still raging thanks to various factions, bombings? So tell me, who wins?

And now Iraq comes to mind.

Yes, I’m all for freedom and liberty, am strongly opposed to tyranny,
But jumping out of the pot into the frying pan seems so crazy to me,
And a double tragedy given the cost to citizens and their country,
And why I wonder who and what’s really behind some of those uprisings we see.

Guess it’s easy for me to say, but better the devil we know than don’t know —
Well, in some cases — or so it seems to me given how I’ve seen some things go.
And why such reminds me that those who take up the sword tend to die by the sword,
For they mimic the way of tyrants and thus display a thinking that’s just as flawed.

Yes, let’s use our voice, our pen, our feet and even any clout we have, but hey,
Setting things alight, smashing things and throwing objects should never be our way.
And nor should we attack those who’re simply doing their job, for laws must prevail,
But not those mobs that oft switch their allegiance and leave behind a bloody trail.

Seems peace and war are akin to a game of ping pong, this world still in turmoil,
And hasn’t there always been those who have plotted on another country’s soil?
Oh, when will the madness stop, when will we come to our senses and clearly see
That wars, riots and uprisings aren’t the answer, but a changed humanity.

Yes, I’m all for freedom and liberty, am strongly opposed to tyranny,
But fighting fire with fire-cum-turning to violence aids the insanity.
And what does such say of us, for two wrongs don’t make a right, and who’re we to speak
If in order to free ourselves from tyrants we act as inhumane and weak?

And now the Ukraine riots come to mind...oh dear...what else will soon come to mind?


By Lance Landall


See my poems But With Hong Kong In Mind and Capitol Hill which can be found
on my page This World And Us, Home page, orange box.





This poem was penned on 20 May 2021.


20.  So Much For Shalom


You justify your attacks on Gaza citing the rockets of Hamas, yet
Who created it all? You treating those people dreadfully, hence what you get.
God hardly behind you, but billions of dollars of military aid, and
Those errant whispering-in-the-ear-evangelists who also guilty stand.

Yes, what goes ’round comes ’round, you not satisfied with what you have, but wanting more
(As it so often goes), your hardness and determination all seen before.
Both you and America could’ve prevented those hundreds of rockets, but
Politics and agendas coming first; all why Heaven’s door often slams shut.

Yes, America aiding the deaths and devastation, thus blood on her hands,
And having wrongly interfered long ago, as she has in so many lands.
You’re partners in crime, and you not having learned from the holocaust, but cruel too,
Your brutality costing in more ways than one, your thinking just as askew.

By Lance Landall


“And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and
 plant it, but if it does evil in My sight, not listening to My voice, then I will change My mind
 about the good that I had intended to do to it” (Jer 18:9,10).

“ ‘Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [an unbelieving Israel]
and given to a people producing its fruits’ ” (Matt 21:43, ESV).

For the true biblical position on Israel, see my Christian section, poem list page,
and orange box titled: Oh, Ancient Israel





Brutality


21.  The Adventures Of TinTin


We wonder why there's so much violence, and due to hate speech, play with freedom of expression, sadly.
Yes, we’re busy downing this or that, lamenting the deterioration, those unkind acts we see,
Yet, via the likes of The Adventures of TinTin, we feed our kids a steady stream of violent acts,
Which, aside from displaying hypocrisy, counteracts what we’re saying, and negatively impacts.

It seems that we haven’t learnt we can’t have it both ways, hence not just TinTin, but Asterix and so on
(Like fairy tales), which, when one thinks about it, just makes a farce of that anti-smacking carry-on.
“Don’t smack kids,” they cry, “Don’t hurt creatures,” they cry, and the list goes on, but meantime, “Have a read of TinTin,”
Where over violence found in comics (the junk food equivalent of books), their kids giggle and grin.

Yes, it’s intriguing how we down violence, yet watch so much of it on TV, young kids in the same room,
They, as well as each parent, soaking up the blood and gore, the stabs and biffs, and midst such, the doom and gloom.
And we wonder why so many kids act insensitively (or cold-bloodedly), and adults as well,
All having been fed such from a very young age, with regular top-ups — yes, a sure recipe for ill.

And don’t forget those toy guns we give our kids to play with, like those seen in The Adventures of TinTin,
Or those swords like the one Asterix wields (when he’s not using his fist), such oft tied in with the masculine.
And while I’m at it, there’s also the likes of Superman, all using violence to solve issues, sadly,
Which both adults and kids watch — thus adults up to their neck in guilt, and those kids knee deep in injur
y.

By Lance Landall


This poem was upgraded 26 February 2020.





Brutality


22.  I've A Problem With Robin Hood


(A heroic outlaw in English folk-lore)

Yes, I’ve indeed a problem with Robin Hood, for he was a hood, he acting just as badly,

He stealing from the rich to give to the poor, his benevolence the result of robbery.
In other words, he seeking some good via a wrongful means, which also included thuggery,
All of which makes him a criminal too (and his cohorts as well) — yes, no true hero was he.

And yet, how children have loved his exploits (and indeed adults), they fed such via books and movies,
Robin’s “end justifies the means” approach greeted rapturously, his victims down on their knees.
And so it is with most action movies, some so-called hero resorting to wrongful means too,
Be it via thuggery, breaking and entering, or any other wrong means that they pursue.

Hence why I’ve a problem with Robin Hood; and his contemporaries, they tarred with the same brush,
Their wrongly justified behaviour making any decent law-abiding citizen blush.
For there’s no such thing as rightful wrong, wrong being nothing but wrong, and no matter how it be dressed,
And why all who indulge in such have more than just good intentions beating in their sullied breast.

Yes, we’re either squeaky clean or not, our conscience clear and true or warped, our heart white, grey or black,
Our sense of right and wrong sharp and determined, or we on a diverging-cum-error bound track.
And that track’s as old as this Earth’s history — it a circle — and hence why things hardly improve,
For all who fight fire with fire, and seek good via wrongful means, are still stuck in that historic groove.

Hence why many who’ve wrestled power from tyrants have become tyrants too, no surprises there,
For their hearts weren’t pure, but somewhat tainted too, and hence why selfish cracks were soon seen to appear.
At the end of the day, rot is rot no matter how small, and in time eats at the foundations,
All why many with good intentions end up committing unbelievable abominations.

And hence why religious zealots are oft the worst, they killing or persecuting in God’s name,
They thinking that He approves of that “end justifies the means” approach-cum-that same old tired game.
But as I said, rot is rot, and no one should give room to such, and why any who do soon err,
They justifying this or that — and to be frank, the “means” more than the “end” is what some prefer.

For example: Many simply installing something they desire, some good end more an excuse,
And why in time, much that’s desired-cum-underhandedly installed, bad fruit is seen to produce.
And no wonder, as a flawed, deluded or selfish thinking was behind such, and hence the ill;
They akin to modern Robin Hoods, who, in order to achieve some good, violate at will.

Yes, may our motto always be: Above reproach.

By Lance Landall





Control

Alternative poem.


23.  It's Our World


Dear fellow traveller (midst the billions on this Earth), I’ve a message I wish to share, given your inheritance by birth, and your existing presence here.
This planet is yours and mine, it doesn’t belong solely to kings or queens, popes or presidents, prime ministers in residence, nor any government, even power or society behind the scenes, but rather, to us, the people — yes, not someone on a throne, behind an official desk, or ecclesiastically ensconced under some steeple; and nor does it belong solely to a wealthy elite, but rather, to us, the people.
No disrespect is intended here, but only the clear recognition, that this Earth belongs to humanity, you and I — in other words, us, we — not solely to those in power, regardless of their position, regardless of their authority, and including any majority, 'cause humanity is also the minority, given that we’re all linked genetically, historically, and universally, and given that such is acting humanely, quite honestly.
Though rightful laws and order have their place, no one should seek to conquer and rule the human race, and all who would seek to do so, by stealth, legislation or might, wouldn’t have justification, would be lovers of darkness rather than light, who though pretending otherwise, would ultimately catch by surprise, thus displaying their true  face.
Yes, this planet belongs to you and I, who likewise, pressure or force cannot justify (despite how much we might try), 'cause the birthright of all is freedom and liberty (be that civil or religiously), the right to be left alone to live in peace and harmony, to be free from the evil plots, plans and tentacles of tyranny, and not to mention, the right to have access to every necessity.
Yes, we weren’t meant to be controlled, bought or sold, trampled on, sneeringly looked upon, coldly mistreated, shackled, persecuted or defeated, somehow abused, indifferently used, played with like marionettes, gathered together in plotter’s nets, nor considered as if just a clone, 'cause we’ve a brain, a heart, a dream, a path, a life and purpose of our own, and were born to love not hate, and to goodness, mercy and kindness radiate, 'cause such always works for the best, ensuring that all are blest, whereas hate just destroys, and all manner of evil employs, 'cause it’s tied to lust and power, seeks to overthrow not empower, and all the while, oft hiding behind a smile (which given time, quickly turns sour).
Though we’re humanity, we’re not some herd to be rounded up, processed and programmed physically, mentally or emotionally, nor were we meant to be serfs at the beck and call of bureaucracy, but rather, are individuals in our own right, little worlds of our own, with corresponding patents and copyright.
Yes, it’s our world, not the possession of a group, a majority, nor some man, who, were these given control — that is, of the world as a whole — would prove a threat to all, and eventually, flames of trouble just fan.


By Lance Landall

This poem was added to on 15 October 2020.





Control
Alternative poem.


24.  Leave Us Alone!


Yes, leave us alone, whoever you are, close or far, with your hidden agenda and certain intent, that’s very far from Heaven sent, thought often made to look so, but which in our bones we know, simply seeks to harm and destroy, hence those crooked means you employ, and that camouflage, or sidetracking decoy — yes, the cunning, the devising, all hardly surprising, for you’re not our friend but our foe.
You hide behind an institution, an organisation, some benign association, a secret society, or simply some authority, perhaps dressed in your finery, educated intellectually, and plotting and planning, covertly listening and scanning, directing each willing puppet, manipulating each pawn, using their weaponry, expertise or brawn, thus seeking to gain control, even of society as a whole, and where you can, or via some middleman, you flatter and fool many men, who via their clout or legislative pen, willingly or ignorantly aid and back your clever spiel and plan.
Yes, leave us alone, whoever you are, religious or otherwise, though often in disguise, for you don’t like inspection, correction nor detection, given you’re into error and deception, and oh, how deluded you are, for all you do is wound and scar, deprive of rights and liberty, midst proclaiming you’re no enemy, and that it’s all a misconception.
Yes, leave us alone, whoever you are, for you discredit exposers, do away with opposers, laugh at conspiracies, whilst in them up to your knees, and whilst withholding information, removing from circulation, forcing co-operation, defending some violation, even annihilation — for ultimately, you do as you please, and all and sundry seize, for your exploitation.
Yes, leave us alone, whoever you are, wherever you are, with your heart of stone, for you’ve no right to treat us so, nor to ignore and violate our “No,” be it via a majority, a powerful minority, some pious priority, for you’re not our friend but our foe.
So leave us alone!


By Lance Landall





Brutality
Alternative poem.



25.  In God's Name? Rubbish!


Those — who in God’s name — persecute, imprison, torture or kill — in other words, intentionally wound and another’s blood spill, are only Christian in name; yes, abusers and murderers who some right wrongly claim, and who both God and Christianity shame, for despite what they say, or how such they might portray, there’s no blessing in thuggery, coercion or secrecy, but rather, a curse, and even worse, a horrid end, for justice is sure to descend, ultimately and deservedly.
No one — let me repeat — NO ONE — can justify such evil acts, and oh, how such evil-doers distort the facts, oft twisting the Bible to suit their ends, but hey, what evil-doer, truth really comprehends, or for that matter, compassion or mercy extends? No, for they have their agenda, a common hallmark of the offender, who, oft hiding behind some pious crusade, or other, equally as renegade, and also man-made, treads on what's good, right and true, in order to foolishly pursue, some goal that’s wanting and weighed, and which all who’ve sense and decency, know has never paid.
Oh yes, behind that pearly smile (more akin to a crocodile), those carefully chosen words (oft as far from truth as the birds), and their sincere sounding intention, is often malice too cruel to mention, BUT, even should they be sincere, one thing is certainly clear: Ill-treatment isn’t godly, but rather, a devilish invention, and those who act so misguidedly (or intentionally), are seriously lacking in decency, discernment and comprehension, and so often are nothing but puppets and pawns, or until the truth dawns, and by then it’s usually too late, and they, rightfully sharing the same fate, for no one can justify ill-treating another, and more so an innocent sister or brother; but when all’s said and done, be it via word, hand or gun, everyone such behaviour should shun.
Yes, whether a Christian or not so, such behaviour is nothing other than low, and those who perpetuate such wrong, are nothing but cowards, morally weak rather than strong, and who despite their saying otherwise, their sell-out to forces of evil advertise, for their acts and the Bible they profess to uphold (hypocritically and thus offensively bold), simply don't harmonise.
Yes, given that the God they supposedly serve, "Came not to destroy but save," what a nerve!
In God’s name? Rubbish!

By Lance Landall


"Christendom is not the same as Christianity, as the Danish theologian and philosopher Kierkegaard pointed out.
Christendom's violence was not Christian, for the simple reason that it was diametrically opposed to what Christ himself taught.
People who engage in violent and cruel activities at any time, in Northern Ireland or the Balkans or anywhere else, while invoking the name of God, are certainly not obeying Christ when they do so, whatever they may say to the contrary.
After all, the name "Christian" means a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. Following Christ means obeying his commandments. And one of those commands was the explicit prohibition of the use of force to defend Christ or his message. That command has been very well known since it was issued at a point of high tension in the Gospel narrative, the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus taught his followers not to hate their enemies but to love them; and he acted accordingly when the armed crowd came with Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest him. In that historic encounter he specifically forbade his disciples to use violence.
Jesus rebuked one of his disciples, Peter, who, untrained in swordsmanship, swung wildly with his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest's servant, Malchus. "Put your sword back into its place," Jesus said, "for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt 26:52, ESV).
He could not have made it more plain. To take the sword, gun, or bomb in Christ's name is to repudiate both Christ and his message. He will have none of it. Gunning for God, in the sense of taking a weapon into one's hands on God's behalf, is a contradiction of and an affront to the Christian message."

From the book "Gunning For God" by John C. Lennox.






1.  Regarding Someone Else's Life:


It’s theirs, not yours.
You’ve no right to take it, and if you do:

You’ll lessen respect for its sanctity thereby threatening the sanctity of your own.
You’ll be accountable for the blood on your hands.
You’ll bring shame on your name and family.
You’ll place yourself amongst the evil, disturbed, deluded and conned.
You’ll make a personal statement that’s self-condemning.
You’ll cause others untold grief.
You’ll become a burden to the tax payer via any court proceedings and imprisonment.
You’ll add to humanity's soiled reputation and treachery.
You’ll poison your own heart.
You’ll prove yourself a coward.
You'll leave others fearful of you.



2.  God, War And Violence:


Am unaware of who the author or authors are.

Some refrain from becoming Christians because they cannot accept the idea of an Old Testament God who orders killing and extermination. However, the Old Testament is often misread and misunderstood. In assessing the Old Testament God, we should look again at the picture the Old Testament provides. The first violent act recorded in the Bible is Cain’s murder of his brother (Gen 4:1-8). However, before his destructive act, God spoke with Cain, trying to bring him to his senses (Gen 4:6,7). Without success. The Creator disapproved of Cain’s action and made clear to him that he would have to bear its consequences (Gen 4:10-12). God took a risk in modelling us in His image and giving us freedom to act and decide (Gen 1:26,27). But, of course, we must face the consequences of our actions (Gen 3:17-24). The Bible records only a few occasions where God decided to interfere with humanity’s violent behaviour. One occasion was during the time of Noah, when violence was so great on the earth that it threatened the existence of life.
God intervened and wiped out an entire generation with the flood. The situation was bad. Whereas God had created everything “good,” (Gen 1:31) people were doing exactly the opposite of what they had been designed to do (Gen 6:5,6). The Bible writer records that instead of continuing the process of creation in a positive way, people were thinking and doing evil constantly. The earth was full of violence (Gen 6:13). And this threatened the existence of the human race, the animals, and all of nature. Life is precious to the Creator. There was only one option for Him—to act as a surgeon in cutting away. Thus, God saved humanity and the animal world.
On another occasion God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19). Once again, human evil had reached its peak (Gen 18:28; 19:6,7,9,13). And the evil of these cities threatened the people surrounding them. But God did not act in a blind, choleric way. The recorded dialogue between God and Abraham, who lived near the cities, reveals that God had thoroughly and responsibly investigated the case (Gen 18:16-33). And He saved all He could from destruction. As with the people in Noah’s time, the residents of these cities would have destroyed themselves in time. But at least God was able to intervene first and save the destruction of others.
To a great degree, people’s fate lies in their own hands. This is demonstrated in the case of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. If any people deserved to be wiped out in the ancient Near East, it was the Assyrians (Jonah 1:2). It was the most violent nation of the time. It had strongly established its reputation by committing atrocities on its numerous defeated enemies. However, God cancelled His verdict of extermination on the city because it genuinely reversed its conduct.
Nineveh stopped its violence. And the Ruler of the universe responded. Nineveh was not annihilated (Jonah 3:7-10). This incident demonstrates God’s character. The Old Testament God only carried out a definite sentence when there was no sign of reversal, and when the existence of others and their environment was at stake.
But what about God ordering the Israelite wars? How can all that killing be justified? In trying to answer these questions, each situation needs to be looked at to avoid generalization and exaggeration. From the time God liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt, He wanted it to become a model nation (Ex 19:5,6). Obviously, if He was going to give the Hebrews independence, He would also have to give them a home and country. In the setting of the ancient Near East, where warfare was the order of the day, it was impossible for God to require Israel to be pacifist. The struggle for survival was conducted with a spade in one hand and a weapon in the other. God assigned to Israel an area populated by the Amorites. The Bible records that these people had a contempt for human life—as reflected in their human sacrifices (Deut 9:4; 12:29-31; Gen 15:16). It would have been impossible for Israel to co-exist with them. Israel learned that the inevitable result of wickedness is death. And Israel had to learn to perform like a student surgeon, by cutting out evil where it had proved irreversible.
Because King Saul didn't fully follow through on the instructions God had given regarding completely crushing a particular enemy once and for all, the remainder of them contined to be a constant thorn in Israel's side, which led to more loss of life.
It was not easy to educate Israel as a model people. It was composted of slaves, adventurers, Egyptians and other nationalities (Ex 12:38; Num 11:4). This complex group of people operated at low levels of ethics, hygiene and human relationships. God’s plan to make them a model nation, a “holy” people,” a “royal priesthood,” was ambitious. God gave Israel commandments and prescriptions—not to enslave them again, but to lift them to a higher level of human existence. They included laws to regulate warfare. And against the background of the ancient Near East, they stand out as humane and idealistic. For example, when going to war, those who had marriage plans, or who had just bought a house or a field and had not yet enjoyed the benefits of it, were allowed to remain home. Further, all who feared to face the enemy were also allowed to remain home (Deut 20:1-9). Who today would dare to run an army on those terms? Yet the God of Israel did. And it shows how deeply He appreciates human life. Only those who were committed and had already benefited from the joy and value of life were invited to risk their lives.
But even more startling, these Mosaic warfare laws required a liberal and humane attitude toward the enemy (Deut 20:10-15). For example, when marching to war, the Israelites had to offer peace to the enemy, with the guarantee of no bloodshed. If the offer was refused, only males were to be killed in battle. Women and children, who represented the future of their people, had to be kept alive. At all cost, life had to be safeguarded. Soldiers were even forbidden to cut the enemy’s fruit trees (Deut 20:19,20). Later generations had to be able to eat and live.
Israelite men also had to show respect to female captives. Raping or any violent treatment was forbidden. If an Israelite was attracted by a conquered woman, he had to allow her a month to mourn before marrying her. She then had to be treated as his wife with full Israelite rights (Deut 21:10-14).
A God who orders such war ethics in a period when hardly any existed cannot be called a God of violence. Of course, not all Israelites applied the rules strictly. Even King David was at times cruel (2 Sam 8:2,4). But the Old Testament pronounces its verdict on him. God refused to let him build the temple—the thing he most desired to do—because he had shed too much blood (1 Chron 22:7,8).
Finally, there is an extra dimension in the Old Testament history that should not be overlooked. On several occasions, military conflicts were solved by a conscious choice of non-violence. For example, the Israelite prophet Elijah confronted the Arameans who were attacking Israel. The Bible records that he was given power to temporarily blind them. He then brought them to Samaria, the capital, and handed them over to the Israelite king. The king asked Elijah if he should annihilate them. But Elijah prohibited him from doing them any harm, and instead ordered the king to offer them a meal. This action would have done Gandhi or Martin Luther King proud. And it must have impressed the Arameans. They did not raid Israel again (2 Kings 6:15-23). In such instances, when conflict was solved non-violently, God was showing to His people that He does not like bloodshed.
The prophet Isaiah expresses God’s ideal well. He pictures the world to come where nations will express their desire to be with God and to be taught by Him (Isa 2:4-6). In his vision, Isaiah sees these people beating their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Thus, God considers life to be sacred and valuable. In Old Testament times He allowed violence only when there was no other solution, and when the life of others was at risk. God hoped to lift Israel to a higher, more humane level of morality, and to thereby influence the other nations.



3.  Why Boxing Is Wrong:


Boxing is the act-cum-art of repeatedly striking someone for personal gain, though with a gloved hand; the gloved hand simply minimizing any injury, which speaks for itself given that one should never raise a hand to anyone even in fun. Such an act-cum-art is surely something that one would hardly want to become good at.

Boxing is the act-cum-art of knocking someone out as quickly as possible, or hammering them with punches until they’re weakened-cum-more vulnerable, and this, in order to win. The drawing of blood and leaving of bruises being par for the course.

Boxing creates an inner hardness, those with the “killer instinct” faring better due to their heightened brutality and “at all cost” mentality.

Boxing is a contradictory and even hypocritical act
(especially where one is opposed to violent behaviour) given that it’s a form of violence. It therefore sending the young a garbled message.

Boxing simply equips those who’ve a brooding resentment.

Boxing is part of that “macho” mentality that’s more into brawn than intellect.

Boxing is effectively a gladiator sport which an enlightened society should have surely left behind.

Boxing, like competitive sports in general, not only can bring out the worst in the competitor, but also the worst in the observer-cum-fan, hence that howling for blood as was seen in the ancient Roman amphitheatres.

Boxing can eventually lead to serious brain injury.


The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) said boxing was "qualitatively different" from other sports because of the injuries it causes and should be banned.

"There is significant evidence that shows the damage that is done to the brain by multiple injuries."
NZMA chair Dr Kate Baddock. Stuff, November 15, 2018



4.  The Death Penalty:


Why the death penalty is wrong:

The death penalty gives the State far too much power and is incompatible with the notion of limited government.

No human or system can be trusted with such a decision given how flawed both humans and systems are and always will be.

The death penalty violates the religious and ethical convictions of many citizens.

The death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The death penalty is not the hallmark of an enlightened and sophisticated society, but rather, the hallmark of a backward and vengeful one. The death penalty is killing that is committed not as an act of defence (which is what armies are for), but only for the purpose of exacting revenge. We need to move away from such an "eye for an eye" mentality if civilization is to advance. The death penalty is a barbaric act that has more in keeping with the likes of tyrants and dictators, and such is effectively imitating the killer. It's not only hypocritical to down cry violence and yet use violent means, but it also sends a confused and distorted message to society, whilst corrupting and brutalising. Society and government should be more nobler and righteous than a murderer.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Any law that's based on revenge is a bad law.

It dehumanises the participants who are simply State sanctioned killers.

The death penalty is no more effective than life imprisonment in deterring murder. People don't think about the death penalty before they commit a crime. The death penalty hardly makes the accused suffer for their crime in the sense that their execution actually frees them from any suffering. Thus, life imprisonment is a far worse punishment. The fact that those who are closest to these crimes would favour such barbaric punishment, is the very reason why we have laws and courts to decide what is just. Emotions cloud our judgment.

The death penalty denies the sacredness of human life. The destruction of a human life can never be right. A nation can hardly affirm the sanctity of life while upholding the death penalty. The death penalty simply increases disrespect for life.

The death penalty can even create sympathy for the perpetrator, even turning them into heroes.

Innocent people have and may be executed. Such is a wicked crime, and all involved in such are guilty of it. Such a mistake cannot be remedied. Some people are executed despite strong mitigating circumstances. Some jury members are reluctant to convict in murder trials because of the possibility of executing an innocent person. Thus, a killer may go free and not be punished.

In a Church and State setting, should such arise, there is the possibility that the death penalty could become extended to encompass those that were seen as some sort of religious threat or other.

The narrow focus of capital punishment diverts our attention away from the systemic evils that permeate our society at all levels.

The death penalty prevents rehabilitation which should surely be our first and foremost goal. Punishment should never be about revenge but about ensuring that society is safe by punishing and rehabilitating.

And Christian wise:

Such is playing God.

The Old Testament cannot be used as validation for such given that the ancient Israelite nation was once a theocracy ­­— that is, God ruled it directly. They were a people that God took where He found them and over time sought to show a better way. Meantime, certain allowances were made and certain instructions given that were designed to improve the then state of things. The Old Testament shows that God's allowances weren't always His desires. Thus, certain instructions that God gave them, and then, don't apply to us, nor to today.

The New Testament declares a better way.

By killing someone before the time when they would have naturally died, we are eliminating any chance that they might have of salvation in the sense that later in life they might genuinely repent of their wrong.

Surely Christians whose founders (of the Christian religion) were nearly all convicted and executed for what were essentially deemed crimes against the state, should be more alert than others to the potential for corruption inherent in the capital punishment system. How can a Christian support that which took the life of their Saviour?

"Capital punishment feeds the cycle of violence in society by pandering to a lust for revenge. It brutalizes us, and deadens our sensitivities to the precious nature of every single human life."
David B. Thompson

"Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality and in its enormity, but it serves
no penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment; therefore the principle inherent in the clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less severe punishment can adequately achieve
the same purposes invalidates the punishment."
William J. Brennan (1906-1997)

“Though every other man who wields a pen should turn himself into a commentator on the scriptures—not all their united efforts could persuade me that executions are a Christian law….If any text appeared to justify the claim, I would reject that limited appeal, and rest upon the character of the redeemer and the great scheme of His religion.”
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

"I regard the death penalty as a savage and immoral institution that undermines the moral and legal foundations of society."
Andrei Sakharow (1921-1989)

"Till the infallibility of human judgment shall have been proved to me, I shall demand the abolition of the death penalty."
Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834)

"Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another out but similars that breed their kind."
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

"I was in favour of the death penalty, and disposed to regard abolitionists as people whose hearts were bigger than their heads. Four years of close study of the subject gradually dispelled that feeling. In the end I became convinced that the abolitionists were right in their conclusions...and that far from the sentimental approach leading into their camp and the rational one into that of the supporters, it was the other way about."
Sir Ernest Gowers (1880-1966)

Drawn from various sources. Added to on 29 March 2019.



5.  Torture:


Torture is the ultimate depravity. It’s the practice of the depraved, not the just. It's morally repugnant. It’s usage corrupts, degrades, and dehumanises the torturer; disgraces, undermines, and damages a country’s reputation —
Such grants a certain legitimacy to the use of torture by other countries.
Torture generates a deeper hatred in both the tortured one, his comrades, and his allies. It creates a desire for revenge. Troops from a country that tortures, and who’re taken prisoner, will face pay back.
When a country tortures, such can be used as a recruitment tool against that country that is doing the torturing (or those who are doing the torturing) — in other words, such provides the enemy with something they can exploit for propaganda.
A free informant might be afraid to talk about what they know lest they end up being tortured too
The use of torture removes integrity and the moral high ground — it damages the moral authority of an institution.
Torture is against human rights and the Geneva convention.
Civilised people do not torture.
No one can truly be trusted with such power — legalised or permitted torture leads to abuse. Evil done behind the scenes is evil kept behind the scenes. Legalised torture just creates legalised criminals.
The torturer can never be sure they’re getting the truth. Under torture, an innocent person may confess to avoid their misery, or may be made to confess to something that they are innocent of.
Torture actually invalidates confessions, because it creates "evidence" that cannot be used in a court of law.
Torture can generate false leads that can derail or hold up ongoing investigations.
Torture can lead to death or permanent emotional or physical injury — an even greater crime should the one who’s being tortured be innocent.
Some torturers may enjoy or begin to enjoy inflicting such pain. The work of torture attracts sadists who are more interested in torturing than they are in getting information —
On the other hand, torturers can suffer Reverse Stockholm Syndrome, (known in some circles as remorse).
Torture can create sympathy for people who would otherwise be scorned and shamed.
The 'Ticking Time Bomb' scenario that has been put forth by Alan Dershowitz, and that endorses the use of torture under certain circumstances, is one that's seriously flawed, and almost a subject on its own. Besides, it's naive to believe that laws against torture would have any significance in a true "ticking bomb" scenario, though it needs to be said that real life doesn't present "ticking bomb" situations. But where does one draw the line? When ten thousand people are at risk or ten? Morally you can't have a trade off. Yes, hard cases make bad law.
For the Christian it’s always a case of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We're all God's children. But at the end of the day, torture is wrong because it is wrong, and two wrongs don't make a right. Torture mistreats the vulnerable and violates the demands of justice. Torture is wrong because it inflicts unspeakable pain upon the body of a fellow human being who is entirely at our mercy. It treats the victim as a thing, returns us to the dark ages. Torture turns us into hypocrites. And always remember that what is introduced to extract information or to punish can be used on the innocent -- the tougher the prison, the harder it is on the inmate who's unjustly incarcerated. Yes, that could become you. Oh, it's also worth remembering that the person who is tortured is someone's spouse or child.

The following worthy comments are by Cesare Beccaria, an Italian economist who published, Essay on Crimes and Punishment, in 1764. 

A cruelty consecrated among most nations by custom is the torture of the accused during his trial, on the pretext of compelling him to confess his crime, of clearing up contradictions in his statements, of discovering his accomplices, of purging him in some metaphysical and incomprehensible way from infamy, or finally of finding out other crimes of which he may possibly be guilty, but of which he is not accused.
A man cannot be called guilty before sentence has been passed on him by a judge, nor can society deprive him of its protection till it has been decided that he has broken the condition on which it was granted. What, then, is that right but one of mere might by which a judge is empowered to inflict a punishment on a citizen whilst his guilt or innocence are still undetermined?
The following dilemma is no new one; either the crime is certain or uncertain; if certain, no other punishment is suitable for it than that affixed to it by law; and torture is useless. If it is uncertain, it is wrong to torture an innocent person, such as the law adjudges him to be, whose crimes are not yet proved.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must
be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture,
produces nothing worthwhile."
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

"The use of torture is dishonourable. It corrupts and degrades the state which uses it and
the legal system which accepts it."

Leonard Hoffmann

"The deliberate torture of one human being by another is a sin against our Creator, in whose image we all have been created. This practice should not be condoned or allowed by any government. It must be condemned by all people of faith, wherever it exists, without exception."
Archbishop Demetrios, Primate, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America


The following has been drawn from various sources.



6.  The Pacifist, Pacifism, Violence And War:


But firstly, three quotes and two poems:


"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same

reputation and prestige that the warrior does today."
American president, John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

What is called the utopian dream of pacifism is in fact a practical policy 
– indeed the only practical, the only realistic policy that there is. 
Aldous Huxley

The question is not what pacifism has achieved throughout history, but what has war achieved?
William Blum



25.  Pacifisim A Noble Stance


Pacifism and pacifists (even without due thought), are oft maligned, misunderstood, and the butt of satire,
When the truth is, that the pacifist’s stance is the only one that holds out some hope, a stance to which all should aspire.
And those who're the most anti-pacifism, are oft those who're caught up in patriotic fever (hysteria),
Which can fuel an errant leader’s unjust cry for war, some so-called righteous revenge, over which, there should be no “Hurrah!”

Yes, there’s really no alternative to the pacifist stance, because all that we're left with is those weapons and war,
And as long as we keep turning to such, we’ll see no end to all the carnage and misery that's gone on before.
Therefore, preaching love, peace and harmony whilst taking up arms, is not only an irony, but  hypocrisy,
'Cause the intent of those who take up arms isn’t to preserve but to destroy, thus they killers granted legality.

It's all so back to front, 'cause people are justifying war when they should be justifying the pacifist’s stance,
'Cause until weapons, soldiers and warmongering are no longer glorified, seen as the answer, we don’t stand a chance,
And in time will discover — and far too late, that is — that pacifism was what we should’ve glorified instead,
And pursued just as vigorously, and all of this, midst surveying the unrepairable, and soon joining the dead.

Warring never solves anything, 'cause its method can’t, thus at best, it’s like a band-aid given that surgery's needed,
Hence why the surgical skills of pacifism coupled with peace activism should now be applied and heeded.
And why, as John Kennedy said, conscientious objectors should be honoured just as highly as any soldier,
'Cause those who actively oppose war, and want no part in such, seek the noblest of the noblest, and thus hardly err.

By Lance Landall


This poem was upgraded 10 February 2020.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), American politician and Army general

"The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own."
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) — The Olive Tree

"Every war is an atrocity, but every war that could have been avoided is a crime in which soldiers became criminals."
The Author





26.  Pacifists


If we were all pacifists, there would be peace and harmony,
As violence would be abhorred, and war unnecessary.
Given no one would raise a hand, nor rely on weaponry,
Disagreements and disputes would be settled more thoughtfully.

Yes, pacifists do not initiate or perpetuate
Any violence or wars, and nor such even contemplate.
'Cause they consider life sacred, treat all the same, live in peace,
And if we all lived that way, war and violence would soon cease.

Violence is a sickness, one that has plagued society,
And until we all refrain, this earth won’t be violence free.
Thus all should be pacifists, and preaching peace and harmony,
Thus working side by side until violence ceases to be.

If we all became pacifists, war would simply cease to be,
And violence would disappear, 'cause we’d all live peacefully.
Yes, we’d destroy all the weapons that line pockets, kill and maim,
Be the generation that war and violence overcame.

By Lance Landall


You may also wish to read my Christian poem
"
Pacifism, My Take"
where there are other poems as well.




A dictionary search:


Pacifist:
One who opposes war or other violence.
Pacifism:
The belief that peaceful methods should be used to settle differences among nations. Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes nationally (or personally).
The principle or policy of universal peace; settlement of all differences between nations by peaceful means; opposition to war.

The pacifist:

A pacifist is someone who believes that violence is:
The way of weakness, not strength.
The result of failure, not success.
The path to estrangement, not reconciliation.
The partner of crime, not law and order.
The creator of misery, not happiness.
The perpetuator of evil, not good.
The consideration of fools, not the wise.
The outpouring and outcome of hate or anger, not love and peace.
The violator of rights, not the protector of.
The debaser of offenders, not the uplifter of.
The lover and promoter of weaponry, not the reducer or destroyer of.
The raider of marriages, families, and communities.
The tool of bullies, dictators, warmongers, and despots.
And is something to shun, never embrace. 

One's approach:

Bear in mind that there are pacifists and pacifists.
For example:
1)  As a pacifist by stance, one might defend themself or their family if attacked by an assailant, and run to the aid of someone being attacked by an assailant, but not bear arms with the deliberate premeditated intention of taking another’s life, as in war.
2)  Does one's country need a defence force of some sort, lest it be attacked?
Currently, and given this world we live in, reality would have to say, “Regrettably, yes.” Unfortunately though, defence forces have a way of crossing the line.

In general:

Pacifism does not equal passivity.

Given that it is claimed by many that wars (and more so modern wars perhaps), are the product of misguided men, propaganda, and agendas, it could be argued that the conscientious objector who won’t bear arms but will assist medically say, is simply aiding an evil war machine, and patching up soldiers so that they can go back and continue killing, which inevitably includes the raping, torturing and murder of innocent citizens. That being so, the conscientious objector would surely also have blood on his/her hands.
Were it a so-called just war, it could be argued that the conscientious objector would still have blood on his/her hands, and given that they won't bare arms (in other words, kill), are thus acting hypocritically.

One could ask: Is taking the conscientious objector position (assisting but not bearing arms), a compromise in order to not upset the governing authority and to prevent ridicule and outrage from fellow citizens?

At the end of the day, any participation in war makes one an accomplice — a dilemma for the conscientious objector who won’t bear arms but will assist the war machine in some other way.

Yet another reason why pacifism is the only solution that offers humanity hope. Otherwise, it's war and more war.

Reasons why war is wrong:

1) Life is sacred. No one has the right to take someone else's life — that is, to murder.
2) War kills innocent people. Ninety percent of those who’re killed in a war are civilians who pose no threat.
3) War creates refugees. Millions of refugees exist worldwide as a result.
4) War creates poverty and starvation.
5) War disables healthy people, physically, mentally, and emotionally. War leaves terrible scars.
6) The results of war can continue for years.
7) The likes of landmines and cluster bombs cause death and destruction long after a war has ended. Large areas of land become uninhabitable, poisoned by dangerous chemicals.
8) When war is officially over, huge sums of money are needed to deal with the damage done.
9) War creates fear and uncertainty.
10) War separates families, and orphans children.
11) In wars great evils take place, like rape, pillage, wanton destruction, general brutality, and torture.
12) War makes it difficult or impossible for people to grow food to feed themselves and others.
13) War contributes to the spread of diseases.
14) War causes tremendous - even permanent - harm to the natural environment.
15) In certain countries children are forced by the government or self-appointed leaders to join in the fighting and commit brutal acts.
16) War brings out the worst in us.

17) War violates human rights.
18) War is a terrible wastage of talent, ability, and skill, let alone human life.
19) War corrupts, dehumanises, desensitises, and traumatises soldiers, who suffer from the likes of flashbacks, nightmares and depression, and all of which leaves their family having to deal with the unfortunate results -- domestic violence, substance abuse and suicide.
The following comment is from the book "The Christian Pacifist" by David Ramanauskas:
An article in the Spring 2010 issue of Abolish War, the newsletter for the Movement for The Abolition of War, stated that in the US over 6,500 veterans commit suicide each year, and in the UK there are an estimated 20,000 veterans in the criminal justice system, with 8,500 behind bars – almost 1 in 10 of the prison population. 
20) In war zones law and order disappear and no one is safe.
21) Huge sums of money are spent on weapons which not only affects the warring country’s economy but also its social services that many of its citizens are badly in need of. An unnecessary war is not only a criminal act in itself, but an even greater crime when it deprives many citizens of their needs.
22) As a consequence of war, war is glorified in books and movies, seen as entertainment, when it should be abhorred.
23) War is the worst possible solution to whatever problem we’re trying to solve.
24) Using physical brutality as a method to reach a conclusion is not only uncivilised but folly. No court in this world would accept a fight as a proper method of reaching a verdict.
25) War simply opens the door to further hatred, violence and murder.
26) It's hypocritical to condemn violence and talk of love and compassion on the one hand, and on the other hand to go warring. Violence is violence.
27) War is by its very nature evil.
28) Truth is the first casualty of war.

Bear in mind that those with war in mind will always malign the pacifist stance via their propaganda.

Many who knock pacifists are nothing more than obedient patriotic slaves who fall for, and bow to, the propaganda of their warring or misguided leaders.

(The reasons above were drawn from various sources)

Quotes regarding war (violence):

The worse the man, the better the soldier.
Napoleon Bonaparte

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
General Smedley Darlington Butler of the USMC (Highest Decorated Marine).

The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. 
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Distorted history boasts of bellicose glory . . . and seduces the souls of boys to seek mystical bliss in bloodshed and in battles.
Alfred Adler

No war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.
Eugene Debs

People do not make wars; governments do.
Ronald Reagan

Whoever wants peace among nations must seek to limit the state and its influence most strictly.
Ludwig von Mises

What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.
Aldous Huxley

The only antidote to the poison of war is the public's courage to disagree with their leader.
Ramman Kenoun

We have guided missiles and misguided men.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The only security for the American people today, or for any people, is to be found through the control of 
force rather than the use of force.
Norman Cousins

War means blind obedience, unthinking stupidity, brutish callousness, wanton destruction, and irresponsible murder.
Alexander Berkman

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. 
Ernest Hemingway

Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood.
Gandhi

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.
Omar Bradley

Wars will stop when men refuse to fight.
Albert Einstein

Evil means corrupt good ends.
Quaker pacifists, 1955 document

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

Force always attracts men of low morality.
Albert Einstein

The definition of civilized is to be capable of violence but able to restrain yourself from employing it.
Robb Allen

There is no way to peace: peace is the way.
A.J.Muste

From a Christian perspective:

A) Christ, plus
B) The flawed Just War theory
C) Texts
D) Worthwhile articles

A) Christ, plus

1)  Christ never advocated war.
2)  Christ never praised freedom–fighters.
3)  Christ taught people never to retaliate or avenge.
4)  The gospel of Christ condemns violence.
5)  Christ preached a gospel of peace, and taught a new way of doing things.
6)  Christ commanded us to love our enemies. Christ's cross serves as a model for His followers.
7)  Christ commanded us not to murder.
8)  Christ taught co-operation and reconciliation.
9)  Christ said "Blessed are the peace makers".
10)  Christ embodies a broad and deep vision of life that is thoroughly pacifist.
11)  Christ himself practised pacifism, never striking anyone nor participating in or instigating revolutions. The Bible never says that when He drove the money-changers from the temple that He actually used the whip on the people themselves. Thus, He no doubt merely flailed it about. And don't forget that there were animals there too. Given that He is God, such is His divine prerogative, and not necessarily an example for us to follow.
12)  It's hypocritical for Christians to preach Christ's gospel of love on the one hand, and on the other hand to go warring.
13)  Christ rebuked Peter for severing the ear of the servant of the high priest. Peter was told to put his sword away.
14)  Christ warned that those who take up the sword will perish by the sword (Matt 26:52).
15)  Even when need necessitates the destruction of those who're evil, it's still considered as His strange act (Isa 28:21).
16)  When Christians go to war they abandon the fruits of the Spirit.
17)  Christian pacifism is grounded in theological affirmations.
18)  Pacifism is in fact the original (or default) position of Christianity.
19) Constantine's arrival on the scene was responsible for the end of pacifism as the characteristic position of Christianity. Constantine, (who indulged in brutality, and who was baptised shortly before his death when he knew his life was coming to an end), made taking up arms and going to war an acceptable part of Christianity. Much rot within Christianity can be laid at Constantine's door and his Church and State fusion  such was the beginning of the worldly Church and secular Christianity. Constantine's measures, furthered by the persecuting Holy Roman Empire, saw pacifism ignored, discarded, and ruthlessly and brutally persecuted from the Christian faith. Some refer to Constantinianism as caesaropapism. 
It was Augustine who first began to define when it was right for Christians to fight in wars. Augustine was responsible for many false teachings. Hardly a man to put one's faith in.
Is it any wonder now that “The only people who do not think Jesus was pacifist are Christians”  quote by Hindu Mahatma Gandhi.
20)  Over time, the pacifist convictions of many Christians have unfortunately been dwarfed by the militaristic and nationalistic “Christianity” of the “Christian right”, so prone to misinterpreting Scripture in favour of its war stance.
21)  A soldier is required to act without questioning, something that the sound Christian (who's to be obedient to his Lord first) should never do.
22)  How can a Christian in all conscience shoot another Christian who's on the other country's side?
23)  It needs to be remembered that Christians aren't living under a theocracy like ancient Israel once was, but rather, amidst a mixed multitude, which here, they join at their peril. What the world (or the State) does, and what the Christian should do, are often two different and contrary things.

(The above facts were drawn from various sources)

Professor Jonathan R. Wilson makes some very good points in the following comments regarding American Christians:

"We Christians may not do as Americans something that we must not do as Christians. As we listen to and debate arguments about going to war, note how often our Christian identity is subordinated to our American identity. We have been so formed by the collusion of the church with America that we find it difficult to even distinguish between Christian and national identity, and harder to subordinate our national identity to our identity in Christ."

"Gospel pacifism believes that God primarily works in the world through the church, not the nation. The church, as the community of disciples, is called to bear witness to the one hope that we have: Jesus Christ. Most of the debates about war, even in the church, are about what the United States should do. This is natural for those who primarily find their identity as Americans. But for Christians, our debate should be about what the church should be doing."

"Gospel pacifism argues that the church compromises its mission, corrupts its life, and abandons its witness when it follows the way of death by acting out of national, racial, and cultural identity. If this is the case, God's judgment looms over the church in the West and elsewhere."

B) The flawed Just War theory

1)  The Just War theory has no basis in Scripture despite some claiming otherwise.
2)  The Just War theory is grounded on the assumption that those political leaders who take such a step are wise and just men. We have no good reason for such faith in authority, even be that authority made up of Christians, and given history, even less so perhaps.
3)  From the time of Constantine, the Just War criteria has been bent, broken, or completely discarded, and has led to  crusade after hellish crusade — yes, far from just.
4)  The Just War theory is rooted in a Constantine-ised attempt to make a war seem okay when it's still in fact evil.
5)  The Just War theory does not teach people the will of Christ on when to kill but instead teaches what leaders in the fallen Church taught.

The following is an extract from the book "The Christian Pacifist" by David Ramanauskas.

Philip Dransfield a member of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship in his article The Just War, writes: 
For many Christians the concept of the Just War was exploded with the atomic bomb in 1945. Any war which could destroy thousands of defenceless people so callously must be condemned as cruel and barbaric in the extreme. 
Thousands of people were killed outright but thousands also were terribly burnt by fire or radioactivity and were left to die slowly without aid after the inferno. 
Has the Christian Church ever repented of its tacit assent to this fiendish new development of warfare? Has it yet wakened up to the terrible fallacy of supposing that evil has sometimes to be done that good may prevail? Can it honestly claim that the cause of Christ was advanced in any possible way by such brutality? 
It comes as something of a shock to find that there are a few people who still argue for the Just War. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki many found confirmation of the view that justice and war can never go together. But let us take the advocates of the Just War to be judged by their own principles and moral values. 
The conditions which have to be fulfilled for a war to be called "Just” have been defined. Regrettably the Christian Church has tended to accept these conditions rather uncritically. Here they are with critical comments. 

1.  The methods employed must conform to the demands of moral law and non-combatants must be spared.
At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were cruelly destroyed. If atomic weapons are used again the same would inevitably occur. So logically no war in which atomic weapons are used can be a Just War. 

2.  There must be reasonable hope of bettering conditions as a result of the war.
No sane person can believe that conditions can ever be improved by atomic war or by the other destructive weapons of modern warfare. It can only make them worse. Here again there can be no Just War. 

3.  There must be a moral certainty that a right has been violated.
Here we are in the rarefied atmosphere of the medieval schoolmen with their “finer education of less or more”. Who can talk of “moral certainty” when intrigue, duplicity, collusion, espionage and secret diplomacy have all been demonstrated as part of the political activity of all well-armed countries? What are the “rights” referred to? Each country determines its own “rights” in conflicts with other countries, and also makes its own decisions as to when their “rights” have been “violated”. As someone has said, “In war a country is its own judge, jury and executioner”. The accusation of “violation of rights” is often a cloak for national greed and national pride. 

4.  All attempts at peaceful settlement must have been tried and failed.
It would be unforgivable today for modern war to be inflicted on the world if this condition were not complied with. But who determines when “all attempts” have been made? Here again all that happens is that national leaders make their own decisions on the basis of self-interest. 

5.  The real motives for which the war is waged must be morally justifiable.
The sincerity behind this condition must be matched against its pathetic impracticability. We are with the schoolmen again and the angels dancing on the point of a needle. Who can assess the “real motives” for war? Motives of all the combatant nations in war are so mixed and tarnished that this condition can never be honestly complied with.  END

A quote from the same book: "Any Christian country that expects Christians to disobey the laws of Christ is not a Christian country".
Loyalty to Christ and His kingdom transcends every other loyalty. 

I'm unsure of the source of this quote: 
“It is wrong for a nation to be exclusively concerned with its own well-being in deciding whether to go to war; it must demonstrate concern for the well-being of the world as a whole--including the well-being of the nation it is attacking.” 

I find it very interesting that a "Christian" country, and it being the "land of the free",  was the first to develop the scourge of nuclear weapons.

C) Texts

Text one:
"Then Jesus asked [his disciples], “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied" (Luke 22:35-38, NIV).

Interpretation:
Here, Christ is speaking figuratively, warning the disciples of the persecution that lay ahead that they and their converts were to suffer. After all, the period of popularity that the disciples had enjoyed had changed. The disciples obviously misunderstood Christ and were ready to take literally what He had said, hence their producing of two swords. It's noteworthy, that an hour or two after Christ had spoken of such, he warned Peter to put his weapon away. Christ's statement, "That is enough", no doubt refers to the discussion, not the swords, given that this was no time to be arguing a particular point. Christ would hardly make the comments that He did about turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, drawing the sword leads to dying by the sword, and so on, if he condoned the use of weapons and physical force.

Text two:
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience” (Romans 13:1, 4-5, NIV).

Interpretation:
Okay, let's see what this text is really saying: 
No human authority exists except by God's permission and under His control. Their rise and fall is in His hands. Therefore, Christians must not take it into their own hands to resist or to dispose of such authorities just like the Jews did via certain revolts that took place in Roman times. Such would bring reproach upon the Christian Church and its message of peace and brotherly love. If the Christian leads a peaceable life, he or she has no need to fear the wrath of such authorities. The use of the word "sword" here is simply symbolic of the ruler's legitimate authority to inflict due and rightful punishment, such as via the courts regarding crime. After all, society must have rules to safeguard its citizens. This power that such authorities wield is entrusted to men by God according to His own purposes for man's welfare.
Paul is not implying that God always approves of the conduct of such authorities. Paul is not saying that it is the Christian's duty to always submit to such authorities. On the contrary, where the requirements of any government are contrary to the law of God, the Christian is to "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

Text two:
"'...a time for war...' (Ecclesiastes 3:8, NIV)

Interpretation:
The above is not presented as truth, but as the writer's (Solomon's) speculation as he searches for truth.

D) Worthwhile articles

Christian Pacifism by Myron S. Augsburger 

Jesus said, "Put your sword back in its place ... for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Mt. 26:52). And again, "But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also" (Mt. 5:39). The Old Testament prophet said, "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks" (Mic. 4:3), a prophecy fulfilled where the people take the way of Christ and his Spirit seriously. And the way of Christ is best found in his own words. 
In Luke chapter six, we read, "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you do lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners.... But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Lk 6:27,36). 
In John 18:36 Jesus says, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews". Again in Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called [known as] the children of God". 
These passages serve as a frame of reference for the discussion of non-resistance and pacifism. The discussion that follows takes as its foundation the explicit teachings of the New Testament rather than its silences. There are those who argue from silence--that since Jesus did not expressly condemn the centurion for being a soldier, it follows that military participation is right for the Christian. By the same logic one could argue for the practice of slavery, a stance taken earlier in American history. But the explicit teachings of the New Testament introduce a principle of love, a practice of respect for the ultimate worth of each individual, which when followed makes participation in both slavery and war antithetical. 
The problem of the Christian and war is not one which can be viewed simply from the perspective of one's responsibility to his or her nation. We are now a global community in which we face the question of what violence does to all humanity. The increase of population, the problems of adequate food production and distribution, of meeting the basic necessities of life have made violence a way of life. Christians must have answers as they face problems of new dimensions in their relationship to other people around the world. 
Furthermore, in viewing the question from the standpoint of our responsibility to our own nation, it appears impossible that there could be such a thing as a "just war" in a nuclear age with a world community. The arguments for a just war in history appear to be quite irrelevant in an age of modern, mechanized and nuclear warfare. But, theologically, the Christian must also face the meaning of the biblical affirmation, "as he is so are you in the world," or again the words of Jesus, "as the Father has sent me, even so send I you" (Jn. 20:21). Ours is a mission of announcing the good news of reconciliation to God, and through him to one another. 
Minority Movement? 
As Christians we are not here to provide an ethic for society or the state, but to clearly define an ethic for disciples of Jesus Christ. 
In the American system of government it is difficult for this stance to be understood. We operate with the myth of being a Christian nation, and we seek to interpret for society an ethic that we can bless as Christians. We need a new awareness of the pluralism of the New Testament, that the crucial issue is the difference between the church and the world, and that the church operates "within the perfection of Christ," while the world operates outside the perfection or will of Christ. Christians influence the state for good through Christian ethics and integrity, but they do not equate church and state. Only an in-depth understanding of this issue can save us from a cultural and a civil religion. As one who believes in New Testament non-resistance, or New Testament pacifism, it is important to me that this stance be clearly interpreted as an evangelical and biblical stance, not as the stance of humanistic or moralistic pacifism. Theologically, this position begins with the reality and priority of membership in the kingdom of Christ. This entails living by the way of love, a spirit of brotherhood and reverence for life. While brotherhood is an important concept, kingdom membership has first priority in New Testament non-resistance. 
The question of the Christian's attitude toward war is viewed best by beginning with the New Testament, with Jesus Christ. This is to affirm that Jesus Christ brought the full meaning of God's will for us. All the way through the Old Testament God had something further to say about himself, about the will of God for humanity, and we see this fully in Jesus Christ. One can find numerous incidents in the Old Testament where Israel as the people of God was involved in war, enjoyed the blessing of God in victory and experienced defeat when out of favour with God. But a study of the context makes clear that God was meeting the Israelites where they were, demonstrating to people who worshiped their tribal gods that Yahweh, the God of Israel, was and is the true God. This is not to say that the full revelation of the will of Yahweh was then present. Rather, we see that there is progress in this revelation. Throughout the Old Testament God always had something further to say - until the New Testament. We read, "But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son" (Gal. 4:4), and that "in these last days [God] has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2); that is, the One in whom the whole comes to its culmination. In Jesus' words, "Think not that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them" (Mt. 5:17) - that is, to fill it full of meaning. 
With this perspective we must recognize that peace is a holistic concept. Peace is not simply the absence of war. It is far more - it is positive, active peacemaking. The Hebrew word shalom contains in it the idea of wholeness or soundness. 
To affirm that one is a member of the kingdom of Christ now means that loyalty to Christ and his kingdom transcends every other loyalty. This stance goes beyond nationalism and calls us to identify first of all with our fellow disciples, of whatever nation, as we serve Christ together. This is not a position which can be expected of the world nor asked of the government as such. The Christian respects rulers as God ordained them, to "protect the innocent and punish the evildoer." The Christian can only encourage the government to be the government and to let the church be the church. We ask the government to be secular and to let the church be free to do its work in society. The church enriches society by the many things it brings to it, and in its respect for government it does not subordinate itself to any particular social order but is in allegiance to its one Lord. 
Properly read, Romans 13 is telling us that God ordains political institutions for ordering the society: But since God ordains the powers he remains above them. In that light our response on many occasions will be that as Christians, "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). We cannot assume that since God ordains government we are always obeying God in our obedience to it. We are not to be lawbreakers, for Paul says that the authorities do "not bear the sword in vain" (Rom. 13:4). But we also cannot disobey a divine law to obey a contrary law by the government. The passage in Romans 13 calls us to be "subject to" the powers, but it does not use the term "obey." Our ultimate allegiance is to the God who ordains nations to function for order in society. Any serious attempt to resolve the question of a Christian's participation in war hinges significantly on this issue. 
A Global Community. 
Grappling with the problem of war is not an isolated issue but has to do with the problems of the whole human community, involving race, poverty, equal opportunity and the freedom for persons to be individuals. To face this matter honestly we must look at the larger question of sin. As Samuel Shoemaker has said, "You do not wait for a war to look at the problem of evil, war is simply the problem of evil writ large." 
Closely associated with the preceding is the fact that war is quite often for the protection of property. As Christians we will respect the right of the government to declare war to protect its own territory. But the Christian who is a conscientious objector to participation in war must be consistent with respect to his or her own attitude toward material things. The Christian must take seriously Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount that personality is more valuable than material goods and that we do not sacrifice life for the sake of goods [Lk. 6:29,35]. This means that as Christians under a government which enables us to become wealthy we cannot ask the government to sacrifice people's lives in protecting our goods. The Christian attitude toward material possessions is not that of a legal right but that of responsibility, of a moral obligation to use the things he has acquired to help others. 
In our society another question we must ask is, What are the guidelines for Christians participating in government? In an attempt to be consistent with the premise just stated, it would appear that Christians may serve in political positions so long as they do not try to create a state church. It is our responsibility as Christians to call the government to be secular and to respect the freedom of Christians to serve in loyalty to their own king. Christians will help interpret to others who hold political power why the Christian must constantly say, "Caesar is not lord; Jesus Christ is Lord." Thus, Christians should only serve at government levels where they can honestly carry out the functions of their office without compromising their fidelity to Jesus Christ as Lord. They should not consider holding positions where they could not both fulfil the obligations of the office and remain consistent with their membership in the kingdom of Christ. To fulfil their obligations and violate their commitment to Christ would be wrong. Likewise, to live by their convictions and not fulfil the functions of their office with respect to the society which creates the office would also be wrong. The Christian in a political position serves the goal of effective government just like a secular person, but the Christian is a witness to the higher values of Jesus Christ. Christians ought never to use a powerful government position as a means to achieve Christ's goals for humanity. For the Christian, the desire to "rule" is always wrong; our stance is one of serving. This awareness will keep us from the struggle for power, a struggle which Malcolm Muggeridge has called "a pornography of the will." 
One who accepts this stance - that New Testament non-resistance is the claim of Christ upon his disciples as an expression of the reality of his kingdom - will also follow other evangelical premises of faithfulness to Christ. For example, can one participate in war and take the life of a person for whom Christ died when our basic mission as Christians is to win that person to become a brother or sister in the Lord? Or, since the kingdom of God is global and transcends every national, racial and cultural distinction, when one's country is at war with another country can Christians participate knowing that by so doing they may be at war with persons who claim to worship and follow the same Lord? 
To go back to the early church itself, according to several writers of history, there was in the church a significant percentage who renounced conflict and everything that produced war. The one thing Christians were armed with was love. E. Stanley Jones wrote that we search in vain during the early years of church history to find Christian people engaged in warfare. He states that Christians did not become soldiers. If they were in the army when converted, they resigned. Jones describes the early believers as saying, "we will match our power to suffer against your ability to inflict suffering, we will wear you down by our spirit, by soul force against physical force, by going the second mile, by turning the other cheek," until Rome finally stopped torturing Christians. That perspective on history underscores the New Testament emphasis that we go out not by force but by love; we seek to make our world an understanding community. 
This disdain of military service held true until the period of Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome until about A.D. 180. After Constantine's time, who from our perspective instituted a "fallen church" of which everyone was forced to be a member, there were many "Christian" soldiers. 
In our own era, Martin Luther King, Jr. brought into the American scene a now synthesis. It was not novel in terms of what he emphasized from the New Testament, but because he borrowed from Gandhi's philosophy. He created a new synthesis by enhancing New Testament non-violence with Gandhi's strategy of non-violent resistance and applying these to the nineteenth? century liberal idea of "the kingdom of God in America." What King did was to confront society with this new dimension, and it shook the country to its roots. 
King's philosophy is expressed in five points: (1) Non-violent resistance is not a method for cowards. It takes more strength to stand for love than to strike back. (2) Such resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win friendship and understanding. (3) The attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against the people doing the evil. (4) Non-violent resistance is a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent without striking back. (5) This resistance avoids not only external physical force, but also internal violence of spirit. 
On the premise that we cannot kill people for whom Christ died, John Howard Yoder emphasizes in his significant writings on pacifism that the cross has made a difference. Christ has come into the world to redeem all people and has acted for the sake of every person on the globe. We cannot kill a person for whom he died and rob him or her of the privilege of knowing the fullness of life that Jesus Christ offers. This calls us to express a pacifist position not by a negative but a positive stance. Ours is to be an active penetration into society with the redeeming love of God. Above everything else, we want our fellow men to become our brothers in Christ. When Jesus stated that the first commandment is to love God and that the second is just like it (to love your neighbour as yourself), he was asking that we bring to bear on the life of our neighbour that which we find most important in our own relationship with God. 
From an evangelical perspective it may be said that wherever a Christian participates in war he has abdicated his responsibility to the greater calling of missions and evangelism. The way for Christians to change the world is by sharing the love of Christ and the good news of the gospel rather than to think we can stop anti-God movements by force. Jesus made this point ultimately in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Calvary's cross. As Christians, our answer to the violence in the world is simply that we don't have to live; we can die. This is the ultimate testimony of our belief in the kingdom of Christ and the resurrection. It is this same conviction which has motivated many people to go into unknown or violent areas of the world from which they may never return. 
A Matter of Obedience. 
Another evangelical premise that leads to a non-resistant view is that we regard Christ's Word in the Scripture as final. Having said that the New Testament is a culmination of God's will known in Christ, then it follows that his Word is final. He corrects the understanding of the old "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" attitude. God gave that position to limit violence, that is, only an eye for an eye. But now he declares that we are to love our enemies. He tells us that we will be better for the loving. We will be better people, better neighbours, better friends when we live by love. In answer to the question of whether this will work in our society, he showed us that we do not have to live; we can die. In dying we may sometimes do more for enriching the world than we would have done by living. We cannot answer the question of war on the basis of whether or not someone must suffer. Of course they will, one way or another. The question is, Which kind of suffering will we choose - that imposed by war or the suffering which comes because of love? 
When troops move to take a beachhead, they do so with the conscious plan that they will sacrifice thousands of men. What if the Christian church moved into the world with the same conviction? What if we had a conscious plan to follow even though it might cost many lives? While there are conditioning factors to this comparison, it would appear that before the Christian church justifies giving the lives of so many of its people in military involvement it should look at the greater sin of being unwilling to sacrifice lives of affluent ease for the cause of building the kingdom of Christ. 
Jesus says, "Put up your sword," and history has proven that warlike nations perish. When people take the course of violence, they suffer the consequences. This is seen in the image that America is creating in the world today. We are no longer looked on as a friendly, gracious people. We are looked at in terms of power. We have established a pattern of using force to answer the world's problems. 
Whose Citizen? 
As Christians we regard membership in the kingdom of Christ as our primary loyalty. Such an outlook is even more basic to the New Testament than the principle of love. Jesus himself said that he came to introduce another kingdom. Its spirit is one of love, but its platform of operation is loyalty to another Lord, an authority separate from any earthly power. This premise, which says that our primary loyalty is to the kingdom of heaven, underscores the fact that we answer first of all to Jesus Christ and his mandate alone. 
This is true with respect to any given culture or nation in which a Christian lives. A believer will seek to be a good citizen, but with the awareness that there are many valid contributions Christians can make for the good of their fellow citizens when they give of themselves in a positive way. This should not be overlooked by those who imply that if one does not participate in military action he or she is not contributing to the nation. We carry an ethical responsibility to demonstrate that the position of conscientious objection to war is not something that you "turn on" during a war, as though this is the way to avoid several years of military service. Non-violence is a total way of life. It means that we give ourselves in service to others. We are not to build status as people who give themselves to a materialistic power struggle. 
Some readers may ask, Does Augsburger not understand that God used war in the Old Testament and blessed it? The answer is simply yes, this is well understood, but interpreted in relation to the "unfolding revelation" in which God moved men to higher levels of understanding of his will. I say this with a deep conviction in the full inspiration of Scripture. There are no contradictions of meaning in the Bible. But I am also convinced that the Bible is not a flat book. It is rather an unfolding revelation of God's will in Jesus Christ. God is no longer using a nation to achieve his purpose, but rather using the fellowship of believers, the church of the reborn. Instead of using a nation, Jesus Christ has given us the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. This is our mission: discipling people to become members of the kingdom of Christ, not helping to justify participation in war. David Ben Gurion's question still confronts the Christian church: "When are you Christians going to begin working for peace?" 
The love that is basic to the Christian's relationships with others is a volitional as well as emotional love. This means that we as Christians must find the way to build bridges of understanding. One problem that we face is to discern the course of love. A further problem is how to express that love. Certainly this involves more than merely talking about the problems. Many young people have given themselves through alternate service to the promotion of brotherhood, of peace and of understanding through rehabilitation and aid for those who are suffering. Non-resisters are not simply protesters. 
Service in love must become a part of our whole philosophy of life. Our choice of vocation as well as our other involvements should be an expression and extension of the love of Jesus Christ. To open one's life to another makes the question of peace inescapable. Instead of waiting for a catastrophe to happen, we should be penetrating our world with acts of love to help alleviate its ills. 
As Christians we believe in the infinite value of every human life. As Kant said, we should treat each person as an end in himself, not as a means to an end. We thus oppose any kind of revolutionary tactic which sacrifices persons for the sake of goals. Rather, from our Christian perspective we believe that deterioration occurs when people follow a course of violence as an answer to the world's ills. Believing in the sanctity of human life, we cannot be involved in anything, whether it is social injustice, violence, war or poverty, which interrupts a person's opportunities for a full life. 
Committing oneself in ultimate loyalty to Jesus Christ means becoming a conscience to society, where that society operates beneath the level of the will of God. As members of the kingdom of heaven, obedience to Christ is the basic aspect of our approach to the question of war. The story of the good Samaritan highlights what it means to be a member of the kingdom of heaven. The interesting thing in this account is that it stands in judgment on everyone. 
The story of the good Samaritan addresses the priest and the Levite as churchmen, and then shows that while these people could sit and talk about issues, when it came to concrete experience, they could not walk across the road to help a man who had been robbed and beaten. One of the sad facts about our life as a church in American society is that we can often talk about loving humanity in general, but not do anything about loving individuals. We can love people across the ocean and not walk across the street to help someone in need. The real consistency of our objection to war has to do with more than simply being opposed to war. 
There are at least three other views of war held by the modern Christian church. One is that war is the lesser of two evils, and we cannot avoid it as an option. Another is that we turn to war only as a last resort. And another is that the Christian should be able to move beyond hate and kill in love. But from my perspective the issue is not answered by any of these, rather it is to be faced by the people of God on the basis of the character of his kingdom. 
My intent here is to call for a Christian conscience to counteract violence by positive actions of love and thereby to promote peace in our society and in the world. Such activity is not a neutralizing of relationships, but an active expression of the love of Christ which treats every person as having ultimate worth.




Prose by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

Conscientious Objector 

I shall die, but 
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; 
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself: 
I will not give him a leg up. 

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where 
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll. 

I will not tell him the whereabouts of my friends 
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much, 
I will not map him the route to any man's door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city 
are safe with me; never through me shall you be overcome.