Tag Archives: stories

Stories of Creative Nonviolence

2592509250_f5f4b0eae1 Most people I talk to about pacifism and non-violence lack any knowledge of true stories of creative non-violence. We’ve seen literally hundreds of movies and tv shows of redemptive violence (good guy kills bad guy, everyone lives happily ever after) by the time we are adults, but we’ve seen little if any examples of nonviolence. We know it took a World War to stop the holocaust, but we know little more then the name Gandhi when it comes to nation-wide nonviolent movements.

I’m going to begin collecting and telling true stories of nonviolence that I have read or come across online, and share them here. The idea is to create a central collection of evidence that nonviolence “works.” Stories and examples that you can point others to so they are at least exposed to this idea.

I’ve talked about doing this in the past, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. This weekend though, while celebrating a wedding and gathering with old college friends, the pacifism conversation came up yet again, and I found that many of the guys I’d had these same conversations with years ago still didn’t really know of many examples of creative nonviolence. So, I want to put them together here.

I’ll post stories for the next couple weeks on Thursdays. I’ll probably start by reposting one’s I’ve gathered before, and then start posting new things. The stories will be tagged Stories of Nonviolence.

This post here is basically a call for submissions and tips on stories you’ve heard, either personally or read online somewhere. If you want to share your own story comment below or send me a post. Otherwise, if you’ve heard a story and can send me the link or a brief description so I can search for the story, I’ll be happy to give you credit.

Let the story telling begin.

John Francis, Planet Walker (geezmagazine)

Reading a brief timeline of Francis’ journey in Geez Magazine was quite an experience for me.
Most will write him off as a fanatic. Here is the first entry:

January 17, 1971 Two oil tankers collide beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. 840,000 gallons of crude spill into the Pacific Ocean.
Several months later In response, John Francis shuns oil. Starts walking everywhere, including 25 miles to meet friends for a movie in San Rafael.

Like I said I think a number of people would write that off as being extreme or a little over the edge, but I think he seems to be a man of his convicitions. Why do I come to this decision? I’m always struck when people do something that is certainly not in their own self interest. John Francis
I am an extremely selfish person. Very rarely do I do things that are not in my own self interest and for my own convenience. I’m making progress, but I am nowhere near living the selfless life that Christ calls us to.
Francis heard about a problem in the world (oil) and he decided that he need to respond. It is rare that I hear about a problem and respond to it, unless I have personal motivation to do so.

May we all become more like Francis in that way.

(more on Francis)

Conscientious Objector

I’ve been checking out Voxtropolis recently (a blogging community of sorts), and had the amazing privilege of running across the blog and recent story of Jake.

For most of the past five years, Malloy, an MU graduate, was a cook stationed in Washington, Mo. But, in July, when he learned his unit would begin training for probable deployment to Iraq, Malloy suffered a crisis of conscience. Unable to reconcile Christ’s teachings with the use of lethal force, Malloy filed a claim with the Army, asking that he be classified as a conscientious objector.
(via. Columbia Missourian)

Jake story is amazing to me. Very rarely do we allow our convictions to challenge us to do something outside of the realm of what is normally acceptable. I am often guilty of being convicted of things, but not willing to follow through on them because they are not socially acceptable. I fear that if I was in his shoes I would find myself justifying my current position and disregarding the clear convictions of my heart.

Here is some of what Jake wrote in
his claim as a conscientious objector:

I am in doubt as to the rightness of taking a human life primarily because of the nature of our loving God. He is patient with us, not wanting any to perish (2 Peter 3:9); I believe those having the Spirit of Christ should be likewise patient. Further, we see that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather desires them to repent and be saved (Ezekiel 18:23, 33:11). We also are fallen and evil (Romans 3:23), and as such should not think our sins any less heinous than the most vile of offenders (James 2:10-11). In fact, while we were enemies of God ourselves, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). This is the foundation of Christianity. We do not take life, but give life, just as Christ gave his as an expression of his love for us (1 John 4:10) and as an example to us (Ephesians 5:1-2). While we were enemies of God, we also were inclined toward every evil practice. Our hope must be to bring an end to evil by filling souls with the love of Christ. Weapons of death cannot solve this problem. When we kill an individual, we add fuel to the fire of hatred within that person’s family. The God of love and the sacrifice of His Son is the hope for peace among nations and in our very lives. Knowing God has redeemed me from death, I could not put another to death for any wrong (John 8:7, Matthew 18:21-35).

A week ago Jake learned his claim was denied.*