Monday, December 01, 2008

iron hand

"Terrorism should be struck down with an iron hand." ~ Hema Malini

Now there's a thought ...

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Geoff said...

Because nothing beats violence for stopping violence

rick said...

What do you suggest?

Geoff said...

Recognising that the extremist groups who orchestrate terrorist acts recruit the poor, the disenfranchised, the uneducated and the people who don't belong. Recognise that the ridiculous amount of military spending by the US government would be vastly more effective if it was instead put into equipping moderate community leaders, improving education and lifting health standards.

Redemptive violence is a myth, and particularly as a solution to fighting an enemy who is ready to kill themselves for their cause. Don't get me wrong, the people who are behind these terrorist organisations are perpetrating horrifically evil actions. But everytime you kill a father or mother (and often an innocent, civilian father or mother), you create a son and/or daughter who hates the people who killed their parent. You can't bomb people into liking you.

Have a look at the stats on civilian casualties in Afghanistan since the invasion and you start to understand that it's not as black and white as bombing people into submission.

rick said...

Geoff - now we are getting somewhere. I agree that "redemptive" violence is a myth. I also think that governmental kindness as a method to end violence is also a myth. I think we both agree that we live in a fallen world and the idea that there will be peace is unbiblical. Does that mean we do not work towards this? Not at all.

I think our disagreement may fit into several categories - none of which will be resolved here but at least we can better understand the reason for the disconnect.

1) I see the role of government as protecting against anarchy. To do this in a fallen world, force is ultimately necessary. Sooner or later, some one's will is going to be violated for the perceived benefit of others and that will always lead to violence. Nothing government can do will avoid that. This does not mean that governments shouldn't be smarter. I think they all have a lot of room for improvement - both in terms of the points you made and in the "when is force necessary". That aside, in the end, rule must be enforced firmly - hence the iron hand comment.

2) I think your points are exactly right but you fail to see that this will happen even if the father or mother wasn't killed. As a side note, a good bit of the money spent which you might argue should be spent in direct care, was spent developing/deploying technology to avoid unnecessary killing.

3) I see the role of the church - not the organized church but the true church - to bring the Kingdom to this fallen world. That and that alone will alleviate some of the suffering you are speaking about. On the other hand, I do not see the full realization of this until the return of our Lord so I have no vision for a progressive realization of peace. In fact, I see the opposite Biblically. I see that man will rise up and become more evil. Again, do we stop? No! But let's also realize the true war we are fighting.

And so I think we disagree in the area of cause and effect, the role of the church v. government, and the path toward the final outcome. I completely agree with you that we would be blessed to see governments adapting Judeo-Christian values.