This post marks the last in the regular series of posts this year of links to reading on matters pertaining to faith in Christ and violence.
Armed security & churches: Of Swords And Plowshares
“I’m talking about churches using armed guards during worship services. … What kind of message do we send when we have guards to put up the facade of all things being under control, of everything being safe? Is that what God calls the church to be?”
Assassination: John F. Kennedy: The Day
“This month marks 50 years since his assassination in Dallas, an event that jarred the nation and fueled a multitude of conspiracy theories about whether Kennedy was killed by a single gunman acting alone in the Texas School Book Depository. Here are some images from that fateful day as it unfolded.”
Full contact sports: Quitting the N.F.L.: For John Moffitt, the Money Wasn’t Worth It
“The heightened awareness of football’s physical tolls has prompted hundreds of former players to express regret over what the sport did to their bodies. Yet Moffitt is unique for openly discussing his injuries and the brutal reality of playing in the N.F.L.”
Iran & nuclear weapons: How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear
“If Mr. Bush had decided to display American leadership and exercise American power by launching a diplomatic campaign against Iran rather than a military one against Iraq 10 years ago, the United States’ international standing would be far greater today.
“The Bush administration’s decision to go after Iraq rather than Iran was a fatal one, and the long-term consequences are only now becoming clear, namely a devastating American failure in the battle to prevent a nuclear Iran, reflected in Washington’s willingness to sign a deeply flawed agreement.”
* “… I am not a political pacifist. What I am is a Christian. And as a Christian we can talk about how Christ informs humanity on the subject of violence.”
* “My prayer for all Christians is that we’d be brave enough to take Jesus seriously and to do what He asks us to do – live peacefully by loving our enemies, turning the other cheek and doing good to those who hate us, but that will only be possible if we put our trust in God and know that Jesus’ way of peace isn’t intended to be a success strategy, it’s a love strategy. Or perhaps instead of allowing our culture to define ‘success’ for us, we Christians need to redefine it as following Jesus well by loving all people.”
Rape: The Bible and Rape
“That the Bible sets a high standard for sexual purity should motivate the Bible’s readers to take sexual violence all the more seriously—and to leave the blame only with the responsible party.”