Forum 7.4 - Violence, Christianity, and the Social Principles

Consider Dr. Christie's thoughts on violence:

Violence repels us, but violence also attracts us.  Violence alarms us, but violence also entertains us.  Violence destroys us, but violence also protects us.  Is violence inevitable?  Why do people us violence?

Violence is employed to make others serve our own self-interests.  Slavery may be the most obvious example of this, and for many people slavery has yet to b abolished.  In Jesus’ day, and in the early church, slavery was legal.  For Christians, however, slavery was considered immoral and antithetical to the abundant life demonstrated in the example of Jesus.  We do not have to institutionalize slavery to produce the kind of relationship where one person, or a group of people, is thought to exist only to serve the needs and self-interests of another person or group.  What alternative vision of interdependence do the Social Principles offer?

Violence is used to make others resemble us.  We use violence to make others conform to our own beliefs and behaviors.  Social and economic systems commit acts of violence against entire cultures.  What alternative vision to this kind of violence do the Social Principles offer?

Violence is used to steal from others.  We are caught in global economic relationships that violate many to the benefit of few.  Wars are fought over diamonds, water, land, and oil.  What alternative vision of stewardship of God’s creation to the Social Principles offer?

Violence is used to punish offenders.  When people are given the choice of what to do with those who are accused of crime, their first reaction is usually that they should be punished.  What alternative vision of justice do the Social Principles offers?

Violence is used to protect us.  This is the issue that those who think violence is inevitable use as their proof.  Whatever a person or a community may or may not do in a particular context, the use of violence is self-defeating in the long term.  What alternative vision of personal and communal security do the Social Principles offer?1

Justice in Everyday Life, pp. 44-45.

Post a forum discussion that addresses any of the above questions and continue the conversation with at least two replies to fellow participants' posts.


DiscussionStarted byRepliesLast post
Violence 2 Brian Heymans
Non-violent life 2 Jeanne Murray