The Antithesis of The Centrality of War And Violence In Culture

I had to bite my tongue in class when the topic of war came up.

I find that my views on war and violence are often quite controversial. I suspect that it is because they are controversial, that people are not always willing to hear them. Furthermore, people seem to not like opinions which span more than one sentence. They like black and white views on life–I am a Democrat, I am a Calvinist, I am a Cessationalist, I am a capitalist etc. More often than not, people don’t have the patience or time to hear a full exposition of how my view of war has been formed and evolved through time to arrive at what I believe in this. With this in mind, I think with any opinion there is a time to voice them, and there is a time to be silent. I also think there are clear opinions on war, that are reflected in our society.

It is unfortunate, because I would argue that the evolution in the history of someone’s thought is immeasurably more interesting than the final opinion that one finally arrives at. John Piper in Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian talks about how his initial views on race were shaped and influenced by growing up in a conservative culture in the South. As he grew up, he began to realize and change how he saw the world in a profound manner.

The Status Quo   Read more of this post

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How Great Are Your Convictions?

This post is a conversation from Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals. He is here talking to his grandmother, a Jewish survivor from the Second World War:

“I became sicker and sicker from not eating, and I’m not just talking about being skin and bones. I had sores all over my body…I ate things i wouldn’t tell you about…The worst it got was near the end. A lot of people died right at the end, and I didn’t know if I could make it another day. A farmer, a Russian, God bless him, he saw my condition, and he went into his house and came out with a piece of meat for me.

“He saved your life.”

“I didn’t eat it.”

“You didn’t eat it?”

“It was pork. I wouldn’t eat pork.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why?”

“What because it wasn’t kosher?”

“Of course.”

“But not even to save your life?”

“If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save.”

I read this quote in the school magazine as part of an argument for veganism, but I don’t think that that the grandma had that in mind at all. The quote is more directed at religious conviction–for her it was the Mosaic law. I am continually mystified by this Christian faith of which I consider myself a part, that would give up so much for God. Surely, we must truly believe in God to fulfill how much Jesus demands of us.

What convictions do you have, and how far would you go to save it?