Category: redemptive violence

Rick Perry’s Jesus politics

By Alan Bean

A couple of years ago, Rick Perry made headlines by hinting that, if the Obama administration didn’t change its low-down ways, Texans might start thinking about secession.  Now the Texas governor is raising eyebrows nationwide by calling America to a day of prayer and fasting he calls “The Response”.

According to the event’s promotional video, a plethora of plagues has driven the nation to its knees: economic collapse, violence, perversion, division, abuse, natural disaster, terrorism, depression, addiction and fear. (more…)

European Union supports commutation for Troy Davis

Baronness Catherine Ashton

By Alan BeanNo one was particularly surprised when Jesse Jackson called on the state of Georgia to commute the death sentence against Troy Davis.  Now the European Union is going to bat for Davis.  According to the Canadian Press, the EU is concerned that an innocent man may soon be scheduled for execution.

Popes and former presidents have previously gone to bat for Mr. Davis and this isn’t the first time the European Union has expressed its concerns about the case.  International outrage over this case is understandable–the United States is the only western democracy that uses the death penalty.  It’s a key ingredient of what Sarah Palin calls “that American exceptionalism”.  (more…)

Jared Lee Laughner and the mystery of iniquity

By Alan Bean

Jared Lee Loughner, the man responsible for the Tucson shooting spree that left six dead and twelve, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, badly wounded, has been declared incompetent to stand trial.  Authorities now have four months to restore Loughner to competency.  How are they supposed to do that?

In a Slate article, Jeremy Singer-Vine gives us the answer: anti-psychotic drugs.  (more…)

The freedom riders triumphed through non-violence

By Alan Bean

Leonard Pitts puts his finger on the key organizing principle of the freedom rider movement:

Everybody thinks they could get on that bus. It’s an easy thing to say. Then you remember the savagery, the violent attacks from people mortally outraged that these young men and women traveled in integrated groups and ignored segregation signs in bus-station restrooms and coffee shops. And you remember that the rules of engagement required pacifism: a willingness to get hit, and not hit back.

It required enormous courage to take the words of Jesus at face value:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer.  But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile . . . You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

The implication is clear: if we hate our enemies, if we demand a tooth for a tooth, we cannot be children of our Father in heaven. (more…)