Well, what do you know…

Robbie at Urbangrounds.com thinks I am a sheep.

. . . And J.M. is a sheep. A classic sheep. He doesn’t or can’t admit that there are dangerous, violent people in this world who would kill him without so much as blinking.

He’s living in denial.

But at the same time, he can’t understand the need for brave warriors who are willing to do violence on his behalf to protect him and his family. In fact, in this post, he openly admits that he is not “a fan of the police”.

Of course he’s not. He’s a sheep. And they are sheepdogs.

I’ve known almost all of my life that I was a sheepdog. I come from a long line of sheepdogs.

. . . So, J.M, you go on grazing and striving for your “non-violent revolutionary change for peace and justice”. Just understand that when the wolf comes for you and your family, brave men and women will be nearby ready to kill that wolf for you.

Robbie makes a bunch of ridiculous assumptions about what I believe and don’t believe, but let me clear up a few of them…

First, non-violence doesn’t mean one just sits there and submits to injustice. The way of Jesus, the way of Dr. King, the way of Gahndi, are not ways of passivity, but rather of creative non-violent action. I’m not sure I’m creative or committed enough to confront much of the evil in this world, but I’m not going to immediately assume either that the alternative is violence.

Second, while I do think there are nutjobs out there, I don’t think most of the “terrorists” out there want to kill me or anyone else, but rather have been mislead to believe that it is necessary to commit acts of violence to achieve political or religious goals. They are no different than soldiers of other nations (including our own — let’s be frank, one nation’s terrorist is another nation’s freedom fighter), who have been mislead to believe that violence is necessary to achieve political goals. I think if one can reason with the “terrorists” (which is what our nation should be doing), we might find that we at least can sit together and talk about our problems and that maybe the “terrorists” won’t feel the need to commit acts of terrorism if their concerns are being heard.

Third, I never asked the police and the military to “defend” me. I know there are good folks in both institutions (some of the best folks I know are cops and servicemembers), but when it comes to the use of lethal force I wished they didn’t use it. And if I actually has some choice in the matter (which I don’t), I would ask that lethal force not be used to protect me at all. And for that matter, if I ever was killed by a murderer, I would ask that the prosecutor not seek the death penalty (I have communicated this desire to my family already). I, like my hero, Thoreau (who asked to not be considered a member of any organization that he never chose to join), never asked to be associated with our modern military/industrial complex and if I knew a way to be disentangled from it I would.

I’m not anti-police officers or anti-military servicemembers. I want to make this as clear as possible. The folks serving in these roles are following their consciences and I have to respect that. I am though anti-violent-institutions (such as the military). My hope and dream is that someday there will be no police and no military. I know it is pretty outlandish to even think that, but if we don’t dare to dream it, it will never be. I’m sick and tired of the conventional wisdom that human beings need violence as a means of control. I think love is a better means of governing communities.

And yes I know that this sounds like insanity to folks like Robbie, but that’s where I will argue that faith comes in. In the Bible, it says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NRSV) Believing in the possibility of a peaceful and just world seems nuts even impossible, yet faith makes it possible to hope for it and to have a conviction to stand up for it.

Anyway I’ll get off my soapbox now. Thanks Robbie for making me think about these issues. I hope you’ll at least give my ideas a fair hearing.