Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012 and the Myth of Redemptive Violence

You know when it's easy to oppose violence, war, and murder? When it's a popular movement against a brutal, universally hated criminal in a distant land like Joseph Kony.

You know when it's hard to oppose war? When the American government imposes sanctions that kill 500,000 Iraqi children. Or when the American government tortures suspects that have not been convicted of a crime. Or when American troops torture, rape and humiliate prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Or when American troops are recorded raping young girls. Or when the American government approves indefinite detention and torture without charge.

All of these things happen too. How many Christian Facebook movements have there been calling for an end to, or voicing opposition to, those things? I've seen none. We should absolutely unite for the cause of peace and hope for children at home and abroad. I have no problem whatsoever with raising awareness for what Kony does, and making him a household name. The world will be a better place when he is no longer doing what he does, and thousands of children will be safer. But we must realize that although men like Kony are the worst of the worst, evil is evil, even if it's wrapped in stars and stripes.

Here's to being against war, murder, and the myth of redemptive violence, no matter who is involved. Always.
By the very wise Sam Smeaton of Liberty, Faith, And America.


Anonymous said...

One can only wonder about your Facebook friends. Well I'm sure I could wonder about other things in this post, but oddly it is the most pressing issue to me. Although, I'll give you this: My personal stance on the use of violence has always been diametrically opposite to my position on government use of violence.

But then I'm the guy who thinks God actually kills people, so what do I know?

Kyla Denae said...

What exactly are you wondering about my Facebook friends? I have all sorts--the state-worshipping Republicans who are no longer my Facebook friends because I said bad things about Bush, and the liberals who dislike me because I dislike Obama, and the nearly-libertarians who are liberal or conservative, as the case may be, and then the diehard libertarians who clog up my news feed with Ron Paul stuff...ten times... Yes.

I believe God kills people, too, on occasion. I mean, ever read the Old Testament. And Ananias and Sapphira is a pretty hard lesson to teach to little kids. (Poor children, I'm afraid I failed them that week. It was bad.) Anyway. Yurp.

I simply find the double-standard interesting, especially when so many people are donating to the IC organization without realizing that they send about 10% of that money to the Ugandan military, which is pretty much as bad as Kony's. And then, of course, IC uses the rest to make movies or something. Real great nonprofit. /rant

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but I believe it concerning all people. Jesus said, "Into your hands I commend my spirit."

Like the double standards of the guy you linked to? He wants to claim that advocating for laws is advocating government violence, when the violence he would subject himself to is not because of the law that is implemented, but because of his violation of the law. His choice to violate the law subjects him to violence, just as any other violation of the law will subject the violator to violent force. The punishment for violating the law was not advocated one way or the other.

However, what I was wondering is what sort of person looks for specifically Christian movements concerning this temporal body? Are you so inundated with Christian Facebook friends concerned with that which is passing away?

I am reminded that those who are forgiven much, love much. And those who are forgiven little, love little. I do not view the American troops or the Ugandan rebels, even the worst of them, as more evil than I.

Kyla Denae said...

Once again, I'm not at all sure what you're arguing or trying to argue.

The nature of the law is force. When laws are made about things which shouldn't be legislated (let's say, marijuana usage), said force becomes wrong and intolerable. That was the whole basis of the American Revolution. Yes, they could have simply not broken the laws and hence not subjected themselves to the force that came out of said breaking, but would that have been right? Of course not. To say that laws are not wrong simply because we can choose not to break them is a complete fallacy.

As to the Christian movements...once again, not sure what you're trying to say. Are you saying that Christians shouldn't be concerned with politics? That's funny, considering how much time you spend debating politics with me. -_-

Anonymous said...

You are the judge and final determinate of what should or should not be legislated? Only you should determine the use of force to your own ends?

I am not argueing that the use of force is the punishment for lawbreaking. If however only use of force determines law, then the strongest rule the weak. Any free society cannot allow pure strength to determine right and wrong. To claim that all discussions of law are discussions of forcing lawbreakers is unwarranted. Laws establish what a society believes are right and wrong. Discussion of law is discussion of right and wrong.

Some people believe theft is not always wrong. They believe the poor ought to steal. They advocate laws that establish their concept of right and wrong.

Since when is a man a movement? What is my movement? Who is with me? I mean really: Who is with me?

There are people who are with me politically, but that does not make them Christians. There are people who are opposed to me politically, but that does not make them not Christians.

There are Christians in politics, but the Christian movement is to bring the good news to vile people.

Kyla Denae said...

I did not say that at all. I am simply saying that there are certain uses the law is put to in America that are not right.

In a perfect world, yes, laws would not be determined by a gun. But they are. What makes the illegality of marijuana possible? Guns. What makes the illegality of immigration possible? Guns. In America, at this moment, the nature of the law is force.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world would knives work better to determine law? I am a wee bit confused, myself. You say, "In America, at this moment, the nature of law is force."

Nature being what it is: "The basic or inherent characteristics of something."

What is the nature of law, when it is not force?

Anonymous said...

We are all aware of the influences (temperature and pressure) that change the physical nature of H2O.

I am asking what the influences are on law that changes the nature of law from force. In the same vein of discourse as how temperature and pressure influence the physical nature of ice producing steam with a distinctly different physical nature.

What are the influences? And how is the nature of law changed by them?

Kyla Denae said...

I suppose, if you really wanted to argue from a philosophical level, all law is force. Seeing as I'm not very good at explaining why that is, have you ever read Frederic Bastiat's The Law? It's a very good treatise on this subject.

Anonymous said...

No. And after reading what STS recommended only to have him backpedal on his opinions, makes me think it would not help.

I wanted to see how you would repond, if you had a better concept of when the nature of law is not force. I wanted to become aware of it. Because I believe there is a point to law, even if no one breaks the law. But I do not know what that is.

I do not think that law is established to correct wrongdoers, but to properly punish them.

The nature of law in my opinion is the establishment of the scale of right and wrong for a society. [It is a scale. Some activitiess are judged more or less wrong with corresponding greater or lesser punishments.] The law establishes the weight of the punishment for wrongdoing.

This idea that prisons are "correctional facilities" is false. It is like calling an internment camp a "re-education" camp. The idea that breaking the law means you need to be "re-educated" or "corrected" is sick. It is also straight out of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx which makes it, in my opinion, Communist ideology.

Kyla Denae said...

Whatever you think. Your loss. ;)

I'm not sure what the point of a law would be if no one were breaking laws. The point of a law is to change behavior that would not otherwise be desirable, at least to a certain extent. In America, that has changed a bit, considering we have victimless "crimes" and what-not. But that still seems to be the point. Do these laws, to a certain extent, help to determine what is right or wrong in a society? Probably. But I think that laws, at their most basic level, are simply made to change behaviors that the government deems inconvenient, and the only way those laws can be backed up is with the threat of force.

Anonymous said...

You think justice is correcting undesired behavior within society?

Kyla Denae said...

I didn't say it was justice; it's what the law is meant to do, to a certain extent. Why are there laws about marijuana usage? Because the use of the drug is something somebody, once upon a time, wanted to correct.

Anonymous said...

The law is not meant to do justice?

Anonymous said...

Fear is the basis of cannabis prohibition in the United States. Whether legitimate or not, the society of our forebearers out of fear, undoubtedly, determined the use of cannabis to be wrong and established what they considered to be just punishments for the use of cannabis.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I, now, know what the influence is that makes force the nature of our laws. Fear.

Laws enacted out of fear are made to punish. Laws made out of love (knowledgeable concern for others) are made to protect.

What you are saying is many people confuse their fear, for love. They think they understand what causes people to do the things they fear, so they make laws to coerce people not to do the things they fear.

That does not change the nature of our laws or how they effect us. The laws are, still, enacted out of fear, and the violent force of the law is not corrective, but punitive.

Laws enacted out of love are not coercive. The intention is not to get people to do right, rather than wrong. It simply states what is right and wrong, and doing what is right protects the doer. Love does not fear the violation of its law. Violation of the law still results in violence, but it is not the violent force of the law. It is the natural result of wrong doing that would occur with or without knowledge of the law.

Thank you, for taking time to discuss this with me. What you say does make sense. I'm sorry, it is so far off topic from supporting Ugandan and American soldiers doing evil in the name of patriotism.

Stephen Whitecar said...

"And after reading what STS recommended only to have him backpedal on his opinions, makes me think it would not help."

I assume I'm STS, given that I've been so referred to and so pseudonym-ed in the past. I needed a laugh, so thanks for inserting me for no apparent reason into your discussion here. (if you don't/didn't want to read Bastiat, don't. I don't see what I could have had to do with that decision).

PS I don't recall recommending reading much of anything either. The submission of works and authors was made in contesting a (frequent, and apparently continuing, given the contextual reference here) ad hominem attack/assumption rather than as a suggestion of ideas and influencing ideals. This was to knock back a straw man, not to advance your education.

I also don't recall backpedaling my views. In fact, I seem to remember someone else.... raising and dropping points of argumentation without properly defending them. I see the now familiar practice of psychological projectionism continued.

PPS I'm pleased that you've gotten better at making clearer arguments in these debates, and I found the barter-taxation point very good. Just lay off the ad hominem assertions. Particularly when it's a complete non sequitur.

Kyla Denae said...

Tragedy, I'm quite sorry I forgot about this discussion--my brain has been everywhere in the world for the past couple weeks. -_-

I'm also quite tired, so I'm not quite sure my brain is processing your last comment quite well. But it seems like you have an interesting theory. Though it is important to remember that a man who thinks he is making a law for another's "own good" could potentially become more tyrannical than the man who does it for his own gain. Somebody somewhere once said something quite like that, but I can't remember who it was and the afore-mentioned sleepiness is making it difficult to remember the exact wording.