Monday, February 19, 2007

Pondering V-Day


This past weekend, my hubby and I drove up to Western Washington University in Bellingham to attend the Vagina Monologues, since #1 offspring, a theatre major, had a role. (I had no idea there were so many different words for 'vagina', but I digress.) This year's theme was V-Day: Reclaiming Peace, and the focus was on women in conflict zones.

There was a statement towards the end of the performance I found particularly thought provoking. I can't remember the exact quote, but the gist of it was that countries which wage war indirectly condone violence in the home as well. (I guess one could look at it as the country setting a bad example for its citizens with conflict resolution.) The women then made a plea for all governments to find a new way and seek peaceful solutions.

While they were talking, I was reminded of Walter Wink's The Powers that Be: Theology for a New Millennium . In this book, Wink talks about the "Myth of Redemptive Violence", which "enshrines the belief that violence saves, that war brings peace, that might makes right. It is one of the oldest continuously repeated stories in the world."

Wink then points out that Jesus "never succumbed to that perspective... He totally rejected complicity in violence." Wink writes that Jesus "drew a line in the sand and asked if we would step across--step out of one entire world, where violence is always the ultimate solution, into another world, where the spiral of violence is finally broken by those willing to absorb its impact with their own flesh. That new approach to living is nonviolence, Jesus' 'third way.'"

I wanted to raise my hand and share that Wink's book totally agreed with what they were saying, but thought such action might be frowned upon... In any event, as we were leaving the performance, it struck me: Sometimes I get my "churching" in the most unlikely places.

--Barb

1 comment:

Serena Sullivan said...

In my humble opinion, of course Jesus ... and people who have taken his words to heart and answered the call to be willing to lose their life to gain it ... like Gandi and Martin Luther King, Jr ... had to die .. how else can "the truth" of this eye for eye myth live? Great post, Barb. Thanks.