Category Archives: Nonviolence

Nonviolence: We Shall Overcome

Nonviolent movements sing their way forward.  Not insignificantly, angels sang when Jesus was born.  In the civil rights movement,  no song better captures the essence of nonviolence than “We Shall Overcome.”  I end this series on nonviolence with the lyrics … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way of Endurance

To read of the various expressions of nonviolent resistance inevitably raises the questions, “How were they able to keep going despite wave after wave of opposition, which sometimes included murder, and always included degradation?  How did they maintain such poise … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: Process

Principles must be enacted.  Martin Luther King Jr. proposed the following six steps to express the principles of non violence in specific situations.  These steps are still taught at the King Center in Atlanta. INFORMATION GATHERING:  To understand and articulate … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: Principles

Martin Luther King Jr. condensed the essence of nonviolence into the following six principles–principles which are still taught at the King Center in Atlanta. PRINCIPLE ONE:  Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active nonviolent resistance … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way Through

Athletes use visualization before they perform.  A gymnist sees herself executing her routine.  A golfer sees his put rolling into the hole.  Basketball players mentally trace the trajectory of their free throw into the basket. This is not magic.  It … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way of Confrontation

Nonviolence is not a philosophical enterprise even though it draws upon key concepts taught in philosophy. Nonviolence is not abstract even though it has roots in general principles.  Nonviolence is a way of concrete action. Gandhi fasted nonviolence. Pete Seeger … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way of Forgiveness

Nonviolence creates the need for forgiveness time and time again.  But what does it mean to forgive someone who has harmed you?  That is the question. Jim Lawson taught that the capacity to forgive was the essence of a nonviolent … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way of Life

Nonviolence is sometimes viewed as an event–a rally, a protest, a sit-in, etc.  But this is not what defines nonviolence.  As a way of love, it is a way of life.  Actions are not enough; in fact, they cannot be … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way of Focus

We move beyond the core principle of love in nonviolence to draw the crucial distinction between nonviolent resistance and anarchy. Nonviolence and anarchy are two very different things.  Anarchy is an act which seeks the destruction of the total system, … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Way of Love

Nonviolence stands (figuratively and literally) against the principles and tactics of in-group dominance we have just described.  But rather than being essentially a reactive response, it is a proactive response.  It is a way of love, described by Martin Luther … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Response #4

Last week we briefly identified three tactics which in-groups use against out-groups, tactics which do harm.  Today, we look at two more. Defensiveness emerges as the in-group establishes a “fortress mentality”–a further distancing from those whom the in-group has identified … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Response #3

In-groups do harm (violence) through identifiable tactics.  This week and next, I will briefly identity some of them. The first tactic is distortion.  Out-groups are caricatured and stereotyped in ways that treat them as categories–as problems to be solved rather … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Response #2

Not every act of differentiation is violent.  Some things are the expression of a legitimate need to arrange life together in a community.  Covenants, Constitutions, and contracts are illustrations of this. But differentiation becomes dominance/subjugation when a particular group seeks … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Response #1

The most important thing to recognize about nonviolence is that it is a response to a prior violence.  Nonviolence comes into play because harm is already being done.  We only understand nonviolence in the context of this foundational reality. This … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: A Brief History

An exploration of nonviolence begins in recognizing the longstanding history of it.  Today we take a brief look at its practice over time. Nonviolence can be traced back through literature to the 6th century BC in India, most notably in … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: Inside the Story

It would not be correct to begin a series like this without first giving you a glimpse of my journey into nonviolence.  This is not a subject that can be written about purely from the vantage point of an onlooker. … Continue reading

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Nonviolence: Introduction

Social holiness includes the call to resist injustice, but how we do this makes all the difference.  As I have said repeatedly, we must live with the fruit of the Spirit defining our inner life and directing our outward life.  … Continue reading

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