Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Tale of Two Tweets (On Violence and Forgiveness)


This past Sunday morning, I woke up to the following two tweets right next to one another in my feed:

The first relates directly to the prior day’s attack in London:

@rcallimachi
10. Chilling testimony from eyewitness who says he saw assailants stabbing a girl, while screaming, “This is for Allah.”


And this followed:

@brianzahnd
Violence breeds violence.
Only forgiveness offers an alternative.
I know must don’t believe this but…
It is what Jesus lived and taught.
And it is what God has vindicated in…
Resurrection

**********

The degree and nature of the dialogue between the content of these two tweets is, I think, of the utmost importance.  In an age where our world’s imagination for destruction and ever more deadly weapons seems to shape our vision of the future, I don’t think it an exaggeration to say that it determines our future.

How do we hear this 2nd tweet?
  • As irrelevant religious blather?  Or as pointing towards the most relevant speech of all?
  • As fundamentally mistaken and flat-out theologically wrong?  Or as the truth at the heart of reality?
  • As cowardly, destructive, and leading inexorably to the deaths of the innocent?  Or as the courageous means to new life?
  • As weak?  Or as strong?
  • As luxury?  Or as necessity?
  • As perpetuating the cycle of violence?  Or as breaking the cycle of violence?
  • As hopelessly na├»ve, the result of privilege and distance from the death and suffering?  Or as sober and costly solidarity with the death and suffering in the world?
  • As indifference and “doing nothing”?  Or as the means whereby an active and potent moral imagination is ignited?
  • Which one "takes terrorism seriously"?

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