Presentation on theme: "Opening. Christian Nonviolence in Iraq JESUS REVEALS REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING Christian NV is rooted in Jesus Life, Death and Ressurection. “Love your enemies,"— Presentation transcript:
Christian Nonviolence in Iraq
JESUS REVEALS REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING Christian NV is rooted in Jesus Life, Death and Ressurection. “Love your enemies, pray for those that persecute you” is the command of Jesus that separates Christianity from all other faiths. Christ calls Christians to “take up (your) cross and follow me” in Mark’s gospel.
The Myth of Redemptive Violence Jesus Christ is the fullness of God’s revelation. –The gospels make clear Jesus’ rejection of violence in favor of suffering as means of salvation. –Revelation responds on a fundamental level to the evil myth of redemptive violence. Babylonians, Romans, and other imperial and occupied societies have chosen violence as a means to “peace” (Pax Romana) or “freedom” (the Zealots). –Our salvation history from Creation through Pentecost is a powerful counterweight to the MYTH that we can be saved through violent force. –Violence is inherently mimetic (copycat) and self-justifying. –Its use never results in lasting freedom. –There are countless examples of the power of this Myth still today.
CHRISTIAN NONVIOLENCE: is NOT an attempt to avoid conflict, NOR a refusal to respond to a violent aggressor. Does not mimic violence or respond in kind. Holds that “turning the other cheek” is NOT passive. Seeks to love and convert enemy through a loving response to evil with good. Demands creativity.
Ecclesia Abhorret A Sanguine This teaching is among the oldest in the church – predating the dogma of the Trinity. The Church abhors bloodshed. –Christians were forbidden from serving in the military for the first several centuries of the church. –This tradition is now applied primarily to clergy who are forbidden from using lethal force.
Benedict XVI on Nonviolence and Iraq “Christian nonviolence…does not consist in surrendering to evil…but in responding to evil with good.”“Christian nonviolence…does not consist in surrendering to evil…but in responding to evil with good.” -Feb 18, 2007 “There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. …Today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a ‘just war’. -May 2, 2003“There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. …Today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a ‘just war’. -May 2, 2003
Inauguration Day 2005
Blessed are the Peacemakers… “We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price and because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total--but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial...There is no peace because there are no peacemakers. There are no makers of peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war--at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.” --Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
IRAQ: a peacemaker’s perspective on genocide
Iraqis 1/2 of all Iraqis
Iraq is roughly the size of California ~ 25 million called Iraq home in 2000 ~7-8 million Iraqis live in Baghdad
War with Iran led to the deaths of >1 million total from
sanctions US military operations in Iraq US military operations in Iraq began in 1991 and have continued uninterrupted until today. U.N./U.S. Sanctions U.N./U.S. Sanctions resulted in the deaths of million Iraqis – half of them children.
Based on estimates from the UN and Johns Hopkins University, Iraq has lost more than 10% of its population to violence since 1991.
The Green Zone at sunset
Car bomb smoke
refugees Since the Occupation began, refugees numbers have soared. There are now 2-3 million Iraqis who have fled their country. Most refugees have fled to Syria and Jordan, but there are tens of thousands more across the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The US has agreed to admit 7800 Iraqi refugees. So far only a small portion of these families have actually entered the US.
The Streets of Baghdad
Girl with water hose
Digging through the trash
Raw sewage in Sadr City
Black market “gas station”
Barbed wire swingset
Iraq: always a multi- ethnic, multi- religious, pluralist society
In Baghdad, the message I heard over and over from Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds was … if the American troops leave Iraq immediately, there may be a civil war… if they stay, there will be a civil war. In Baghdad, the message I heard