I have a serious and honest question for my friends on the Religious Right, because what you told me recently has left me confused as to your actual position.
An American city saw terror descended upon it by a bunch of proud, white supremacist nazis– people who hold what most of us, whether liberal, conservative, or somewhere in-between, have long agreed is among the most vile and repulsive belief systems that a human being could hold.
These nazis came out of the dark shadows of the internet; they shed their anonymous avatars, they came before us without even wearing white hoods to conceal their identities, and they literally ended up killing and injuring people. It was the natural result of a belief system founded upon hatred, and whose ultimate goal is dominating and eradicating other human beings who don’t have the right DNA.
All of us, from across the political spectrum, had once claimed to believe that white supremacist nazis represented an evil that cannot be ignored– until President Trump deflected blame for murder and violence away from them, and began to place it on those who had the courage to publicly stand up to these nazis.
It didn’t shock me that the president deflected blame– these terrorists were literally wearing uniforms designed to look like him. They were part of his core base and how he became president in the first place. Neither did it surprise me that he tried to paint a picture of their being an “alt-left” who are somehow a moral equivalent to nazis, and equally to blame for the violence– violence that left protestors dead, not the nazis.
But here’s what did surprise me: so many of you on the Religious Right jumped on this. As I publicly condemned and spoke against the murderous white supremacists, many of you quickly reiterated Trump’s talking point and pushed back on me, saying things like, “But aren’t you ignoring those who were willing to use violence against the nazis? They were wrong too, Benjamin.”
Every single time a right-wing commenter dismissed the fact that nazis actually killed and injured people in American streets, instead saying “Yes, but some of those people in the streets were willing to use violence to fight the nazis, so they’re both responsible for what happened,” it left me with a confused look on my face as I asked myself the following question:
“Didn’t you just finish telling me that you believe in violence against nazis?”
You see, if I am ultimately remembered for anything, I hope it will be for the work I’ve done around the issue of Christian nonviolence. I believe that Jesus not just invites us, but commands us to be people who love our enemies and who are unwilling to repay an eye for an eye or to stop evil by violent means. I see no place for violence in the life of a Jesus follower– as I read the words of Jesus, and look at the perfect life he modeled for us to emulate, I know of no other way. In fact, Jesus taught on this point more forcefully than any other issue, telling his followers that the commitment to love one’s enemies and not use violence against them, was an actual requirement of becoming sons and daughters of God (Matthew 5:45).
As I have written extensively on this over the years, it has been the American Religious Right who has pushed back on this most forcefully– the idea that Jesus forbids us to be violent is an abhorrent concept to them. Instead, I am consistently told that when evildoers are determined to harm others, it is actually our god-given responsibility to oppose them with violence in order to stop them.
And here’s where this all applies to the nonsense of there is “fault on both sides” between the nazis and the protestors recently:
It forces those on the Religious Right to do a full reversal from what they say to me every day.
You see, every time they push back on the doctrine of nonviolent enemy love, they quickly go to the same arguments. As they escalate the scenarios they believe proves my position of nonviolence wrong or foolish, they always (and I mean always) end up pulling out the same trump-card, as if it were the Mother of All Rebuttals as to why the way of nonviolence is wrong:
“Oh yeah!? Well what about the Nazis in World War II? Thank God the last generation knew that evil like this can only be stopped with violence.”
I’ve heard the argument a thousand times from a thousand people on the right, right up until recent events where Nazis marched through American streets, injuring and killing people. But then? Well, apparently they now think that opposing Nazis with violence makes one equally wrong.
So here’s my sincere question for my Christian friends on the right trying to call me out for not saying both sides were equally wrong: didn’t you just tell me that you believe in using violence against nazis?
Don’t lie– we both know you did, and that you did it nearly every time I posted an article on nonviolence.
Why do you believe that violent opposition to Nazis in WWII was not just necessary, but good, but that somehow in today’s world the willingness to use violence to oppose this same evil is now morally equivalent to the evil itself?
My position is consistent, and always has been: I am against the use of violence wherever I see it. But your position?
Well, your position five minutes ago was that violent opposition to the rise of Nazis is proof positive that some violence is good, necessary, and ordained by God. You see the anti-fascists of years gone by as some of the most courageous people our country has ever produced– so much so, that they have often been called the “Greatest Generation.”
But the minute those who continue to live out the values you so long admired got labeled the “alt-left”?
Well, it appears that made you have a change of heart, and that you now disagree with the version of yourself from five minutes ago.
My sincere question remains:
Because didn’t you just finish telling me you believe in using violence against Nazis?
No, Mr. Corey. We NEVER said that it was okay okay to commit violence against someone JUST because they are a Nazi. It most assuredly is NOT. That kind of thinking comes only from The Left.
Those of us who do not believe Christ commands complete and total pacifism (whether He does or not is a matter for another post) still do not believe we can commit an act of violence over someone else’s BELIEFS. You can’t smack a Nazi just for being a Nazi and I know of no one other than Leftist who would believe you can.
The use of force in WW2 wasn’t because of what the Nazi’s BELIEVED. They could have believed that for the next 100 years and it would not have justified military action. What justified military action is the fact that they ATTACKED other nations and their slaughter of Jews and ethnic minorities. That, and that alone, is what allowed military action against them. Not their morally reprehensible beliefs.
This isn’t about whatever recent event you reference in the blog post. It’s about your misunderstanding of the arguments of those who use WW2 as an example of a time when military force was justified. They are NOT saying it was okay to attack Germany because of the Nazis’ BELIEFS. That is not what made it okay.
What made it okay … what made it NECESSARY … is that they attacked first, and would have continued doing so had they not been stopped by force.
Now you can argue this still did not justify military action. That’s a whole other discussion for another time. But to try to misrepresent the argument as saying it’s okay to attack Nazis because of their BELIEFS is a result of either deep misunderstanding or intellectual dishonestly.
It was the only way to stop them from killing more innocent people?
They had a great deal more power and were doing much more damage as a result.
Hm. Tell me, how do you think they got started? Because it didn’t begin with mass murder. It began with hate. It began with scapegoating the Other. It started small and gained power. Would you have recognized the Nazis when they were first organizing? Do you recognize the same hatred and scapegoating now? It’s easy to look back and recognize the evil and what it led to. What do you think the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville will become if they gain power?
I am part of what you call “the religious right” (though I would never claim such a title for myself). I condemn all forms of violence, whoever commits it. I believe Jesus showed us that there are other ways of dealing with hate than with violence. I believe that violence only leads to more violence. So I say that violence and hate from the right is just as evil as the violence at hate from the left. I condemn both and give no excuses or justification for either.
So no, I didn’t just finish telling you that I believe in violence against Nazis.
Amen. I too am a conservative Christian and feel called by Jesus to be a passivist. I can’t imagine my Lord using violence, and so neither can I.
“So I say that violence and hate from the right just as evil as the violence at hate from the left.”
Can you give us a couple of examples of “violence at hate from the left,” please?
Solid on spot article…
Fascinating topic, and easy to say “I’m opposed to violence” from the LCD-lit comfort of our pc’s and mobile phones. I thank God (yes) that there were brave soldiers of all nations who took up arms against the Nazis: had they not done so we might all – while retaining our nicely abstract moral rectitude – very well be singing a different tune (perhaps “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”). Yeah in principle (ah, our beloved principles!) pacifism is perhaps the higher way, but Dietrich Bonhoeffer showed us that in this appallingly broken world we might need to climb off our large self-righteous horses, and accept the limitations of our moral certitude. ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ might take us well beyond our tidy little theology in which we can feel so comfortably on the side of righteousness. The German theologian saw that it had become necessary to oppose evil before it destroyed more lives than it had already, on the battlefields and in the death camps of Europe. Bonhoeffer moved from pacifism to becoming a combatant; the First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon went from decorated combatant to pacifist. This illustrates that overarching moral imperatives may fracture and morph in the face of terrible evil.
Thanks. It has been a long day and I needed a good laugh.
Nothing like the Religious Right and Nazis to get the folks stirred up.
I wonder what the acceptable response would be to an equal rights, free speech Islamic Jihadist rally granted a permit in Dallas, allowed legal open carry of handguns and rifles?
Would these Jihadists show their faces?
Acceptable response? A peaceful counter-protest.
Wow, Corey…you’re grabbing at straws here. I think the left can be as guilty as the right when it comes to the loss objective thinking over this issue. One may easily hold contempt towards the blind hatred of the fascist throughout history, and especially in Charlottesville, while also recognizing that there are elements of the militant left that have been, of late, acting-out through violence. Violence is a human possibility and hate has no single ideology. The madness of the man who attempted to kill innocent protestors with a vehicle was the same madness that led the man at the softball field to try and kill political figures of a certain party. We need to especially tone down the political rhetoric concerning this issue, it’s been a painful tragedy to our country. The more the Democrats attempt to associate the President with white supremacy, they by default associate a large segment of the country who voted for him. It would be a tragedy to create an even greater division within our nation simply to score political victories.
Yes. Well stated and exactly correct.
I didn’t notice Ben Corey excusing the violence on the left, only pointing out that it is directed against Nazis and White Supremacists. We have a pretty clear history to know what those are about.
“We need to especially tone down the political rhetoric concerning this issue, it’s been a painful tragedy to our country.”
That would require ridding ourselves of the narcissist in chief who got where he is by attacking scapegoat people and fomenting divisive rhetoric. Of course it’s been a painful tragedy – my question is why anyone would have voted for this person and expected anything different.
It was on fire when we lay down on it.
“The more the Democrats attempt to associate the President with white supremacy, they by default associate a large segment of the country who voted for him.”
The Democrats don’t even have to work at it any more. Trump is irrevocably associated with white supremacy. It came right out of his mouth when he said that there were “good people on both sides” and one of those sides was bigots shouting in unison “Jews will not replace us.”, as well as when he defended Confederate memorials.
The day a Rightwinger has a response to a critique of them/their platform that doesn’t rely on the “both sides do it” fallacy will be the day hell freezes over.
You can always tell when someone has been brainwashed by the media when they repeat the same moral imperative in verbatim.
Both sides had baseball bats and were looking for a fight, one by hatred of supremists and the other by hatred of non-whites. There IS moral equivalance but we have been taught to believe that the left is the side of justice, just like African Americans still voted for the Democratic party when the KKK was at its peak.
If you dislike the “All sides” argument then there is hatred in your heart. There is no escaping it. The mayor, a close friend of John Podesta and the Clintons, brought these two sides together then withdrew the police. It was a melting pot of violence and they stood by and watched people being assulted. What either side stood for was all but lost in the true evil that was their puppet-master.
Exactly. Arguments about morality and justice must be applied equally to both sides. You cannot have one set of rules for one group, and a different set of rules for another group.
I don’t think you’re following Ben’s argument very carefully. He isn’t addressing whether or not there was violence on both sides; he’s asking why those on the religious right laud the violence against the Nazis in WWII as “good” but condemn the violence against the Nazis in Charlottesville as “bad.” Saying that “both sides had baseball bats and were looking for a fight” is the equivalent of condemning both sides of WWII (Allied and Axis) because “both sides had military equipment and munitions and were looking for a fight.” But this isn’t what the religious right does; they laud the Allied forces as those who were on the “side of justice,” as you say, and they condemn the Nazis forces during WWII. Why doesn’t the religious right do the same by saying that those on the left who used violence against the Nazis in Charlottesville were also on the “side of justice,” since they also say that the Allied forces who defeated the Nazis with violence where also on the “side of justice”?
Ben was clear that violence is always wrong and was clear about his commitment to nonviolence, but he’s specifically asking the religious right to answer why they think the violence of the Allied forces against Nazis in WWII was good but violence against the Nazis in Charlottesville is bad. By asking this question, Ben did not deny that there was violence on both sides. But you and others in this comments section seem to be missing his actual point and dodging his question.
The response you gave is an answer to someone else’s question that’s been asked ad nauseam in other venues; Ben’s is a new question that you seem to be evading.
But this isn’t what the religious right does; they laud the Allied forces as those who were on the “side of justice,” as you say, and they condemn the Nazis forces during WWII. Why doesn’t the religious right do the same by saying that those on the left who used violence against the Nazis in Charlottesville were also on the “side of justice,” since they also say that the Allied forces who defeated the Nazis with violence where also on the “side of justice”?
It doesn’t tax the old bean to realize that the problems posed by Hitler and the German Army might have required a violent response while the problems posed by nuts gathered in Charlottesville did not require one.
I’ll also note that it’s not just the “religious right” that lauds the Allied side in World War II as the those who were on the side of justice. It’s pretty much everyone.
The threat posed by the ‘alt-right’ made a lot of people concerned about fascist, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist violence, Some turned to the Antifa model as one option to resist the alt-right. The option of physically confronting these groups has spread among the left and has been somewhat normalized. Some of us lefties identified with the spirit of the movement, which is to challenge racists when they come into our community and try to incite hatred and violence. Every effort is made to prevent the Nazis from showing up (ie: Boston) in the first place. Once they manage to do so, however, the demonstrations do not get violent until confrontations are provoked. IMHO
“they literally ended up killing and injuring people.”
Have they determined who actually murdered Heather Heyer or that person’s motives?
“It was the natural result of a belief system founded upon hatred, and whose ultimate goal is dominating and eradicating other human beings who don’t have the right DNA.”
But is this recent violence solely due to that belief system, or could there have been other factors that led to it?
“Neither did it surprise me that he tried to paint a picture of their being an “alt-left” who are somehow a moral equivalent to nazis, and equally to blame for the violence– violence that left protestors dead, not the nazis.”
Why did the small group of nazis get a voice again?
“They were wrong too, Benjamin.”
Good point; these supposed right-wingers (supposing this isn’t a hypothetical conversation and that this rally needed violent pushback) are failing to see that their moral judgment that violence is wrong often seems to be displayed one-way. Again, supposing that these nazis posed some existential threat.
Clearly, and I’m sure you know, the reference to WW2 has more to do with the existential threat of a powerful and large nation exterminating large swaths of people than with the fact that they were Nazi’s in name and belief.
I find obfuscation to be violent too.
I don’t see that same reasoning being applied to Muslim groups in the U.S., though.
When someone applies their principles very inconsistently, it suggests that the true principles are different than the stated ones.
That is the issue here that Benjamin is pointing out. If the group had been a group of Muslims (instead of Nazis) and the attacker had been a Muslim, then the narrative would’ve been completely different from the same people. Heck, peaceful Muslims building a mosque in their neighborhood is seen by many Christians as an existential threat based on the protests in town meetings, outrage online, etc.
So, the question is why do Nazis get a pass from them but Muslims would not?
Additionally, if a Muslim had driven the car, then there would be no questioning like, “But is it really an outgrowth of their ideology or might it be something else?”. Some groups of people get the benefit of the doubt and others don’t. Here, many Christians are saying that Nazis deserve the benefit of the doubt while they wouldn’t give that to many other groups. Why? Why do they deserve the benefit of the doubt?
Why, all of the sudden, that a group completely devoid of nuance when screaming in posts online suddenly say, “Now wait a minute. Maybe we should take a step back and consider the subtle nuances and shades of gray here.”?
For all those trying to show that the counter-protesters were the same as the white nationalists I ask one question which group showed up with automatic rifles to the point that the Charlottesville police officers trying to maintain law and order had to balance the fire power from White nationalist militia versus the the possibility of more deaths and injuries?
Posted this on my Facebook page, and it provoked a bit of debate. Wasn’t expecting it! [We DO sarcasm in the UK, A LOT].
While I agree with Benjamin on what Jesus has taught us about ‘enemy love’, I concluded that had I been a young man in 1939 facing Hitler across the channel, I most likely would have enlisted to fight… for the sake of all those being oppressed by that regime, not my own ends. Friends were wondering what Benjamin would advocate we did in 1939.
My impression of what I have read from Benjamin is that he would advocate that no Christian should ever be involved in warfare of any kind. I might be wrong in surmising that. I know he gets too many comments to always reply, so could someone point me to where he makes his stance clear: was it right to fight against Nazism in Europe? Should we have declared war on Germany? (For those who don’t know history, Britain and France launched the war by declaring it on Germany when Hitler failed to honour the ultimatum to draw back from invading Poland.)
If you slice into history at one of its most violently aggressive points, it will sound like non-violence is a non-starter. But if you ask yourself what the world would be like if we all practiced reconciliation with the determination that “leaders” bring to bear on the process of domination, (shall I list examples? or is this already clear?) would there have been any point in WWI? And if not, would Hitler, Stalin, WWII and Pearl Harbor ever have happened?
The system of violence and “defense” is inherited from an economic realm in which a few could dominate the many, extract their surplus value in the form of taxes (or plunder) and set themselves up as the arbitrators of power. Later, aristocracies built on military “leadership” learned to justify their actions by claiming “they did it first.” In general, democracies have been uninterested in conquest, (though the blatant exceptions of White folks conquering ancestral lands from relatively defenseless peoples raises hard questions about how domination works and what it is for). In general, the rule of law means organized violence is unnecessary (except in opposition to organized crime.) In general, rule of law is just a step along the way to self-government through reconciliation.
Excellent argument that I can totally agree with… but what about the likes of ISIS now? Groups that will not engage in any sort of reconciliation, and ONLY seek militarism, ONLY continue to attack, in order to provoke (which I have just learnt is… WAS their aim (they’re practically finished now)… to face utter defeat and see their Koranic prophecies fulfilled). Is there NEVER ‘a time for war’?
If it weren’t for “violence” used during WW 2 then we would all be doing the goose step and saying sieg Heil every time we passed by a uniformed Nazi in our fascist world. You then would not have ANY rights to practice whatever religion or joining any type of movement you want as it would all be controlled by our dictators. It’s easy to sit back and enjoy life saying/doing/believing what you want now, but if not for the destruction of the Nazi’s and their other henchmen in Italy and Japan, then it’s safe to say you would not have any of these luxuries today. Be happy for this “violence” that took down the biggest evil in the history of mankind. I mean for shits sake, we are still prosecuting Nazi’s from WW2 for war crimes they committed. Allowing any demonstrations by these troglodytes today needs to be stopped at all costs even if it means taking lives to stop them.
Ooh, well spotted and well said. I’ve seen several of those discussions you’ve had online where people chastise you for your position on non-violence, and how strongly you’ve been taken to task for “Not standing up to evil.” So, now, because Mr. Trump suddenly decides to find “nuance” and shades of grey – in fascists and racism, of all places – suddenly, “standing up to evil” makes you equally culpable? When did that happen?
Just kidding. We all know when it happened. When Mr. Trump – who many evangelicals have hitched their wagon to for reasons that elude me – went off the rails. When they needed to back their guy, even as he appeared to be nuts. When they could slip back into the racist roots many of them appeared to have not shed since they opposed the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century. And, when they could lash out at something considered “liberal,” always a favorite thing to do.
Just imagine what the response if Mr. Obama had held a campaign style rally a year into his presidency and gone on such a rage-filled, poor-grammar-laced, illegality-defending rant. He’d be gone before you could say “25th amendment.”
“When they could slip back into the racist roots many of them appeared to have not shed since they opposed the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century.”
This cannot be emphasized enough. The Religious Right had to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting darker skinned folks as deserving of the rights of White citizens. Bob Jones University’s prohibition on interracial couples, the Mormon’s 1970s change of heart on Blacks holding the Priesthood position are two examples of this. It was just too easy for the Religious Right to embrace a racist, xenophobic, transphobic hustler as their President and here we are.
Violence and hate took place and there was wrong on both sides. Period!
Yes, there was wrong on both sides. If the Nazis had not been there to start the fight, the other people would most likely not have felt the need to defend themselves. You cannot push this under the rug that easily. There is a terrible problem in this country with racism and it needs to stop. Jesus was not white. And He cannot be used to substantiate racism.
The Religious Rights is alright with Nazis and White Supremacists because those groups are alright with Trump. Simple.
Bravo! You have summed this situation up correctly. Thank you for being such an honest follower of Jesus.
Good article and good points Benjamin.
Respectfully, I don’t think the difference is that hard to notice: there is a world of difference between using violence against people who are doing nothing more than expressing an abhorrent ideology in words, and using violence to save actual lives which are in actual danger from those who are living out that ideology by committing actual mass murder and genocide.
“doing nothing more than expressing an abhorrent ideology in words,” My point is words do lead to violence which starts a chain of events. We must deal with the words. Much of the abhorrent ideology regarding race has it’s roots in religious theology. Groups like the Southern Baptist Convention were founded on one race being superior to another. Until we deal with these groups that are at the root, nothing will change. ‘
I completely concur with the importance of dealing with words and abhorrent ideologies. I object to dealing with such words and ideologies by using violence.
Mr. Corey’s article here argues that those who use violence to response to current Nazi rhetoric are the moral equivalent of those who used violence to interrupt actual Nazi genocide. That is the part that is patently absurd.
“Groups like the Southern Baptist Convention were founded on one race being superior to another.”
Didn’t we already deal with this?
And don’t you, if you find that words lead to violence, find your words to me unacceptable–you know, where you automatically assume I’m a “white supremacist or at the very least a white supremacist sympathizer.”
Don’t stand so close to evil and suddenly you’ll find splash damage much less of a concern.
I’m not sure the point you’re trying to make? If someone had had a weapon at the time, and had been able to injure or kill Mr. Roof once his murderous intent was manifest, then this would likewise have been in the same category as using violence to save actual lives that were in actual danger from Mr. Roof living out his ideology by committing actual mass murder.
An act which, had it happened, I would have endorsed as perfectly ethical and even morally required, even if Mr. Corey (if I understand him properly) would have preferred to see all these nine victims murdered rather than pick up a weapon and shoot Mr. Roof to prevent Roof’s victims’ deaths.
If there was another point you intended with the link, however, I regret I missed it.
I’m reminded of this quote by St. Cyprian of Carthage from the mid-3rd century, so relevant to today: “The world is soaked with mutual blood. And murder, which is considered a crime when people commit it once, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse in the name of the State. The offenders thereby acquire impunity by increasing their ravaging and cruelty.” —St. Cyprian of Carthage, ‘To Donatus,’ ch. 6
This blog post is a logical mess. Just because someone thinks that using violence against Nazis in WWII was the just thing to do doesn’t mean he or she should support using violence against Nazis in the streets of Charlottesville, VA. Even the most staunch defender of violence being a just solution to some problems doesn’t say it’s the just solution to every problem, or even every problem involving white supremacy.
The white supremacists in Charlottesville were the proximate cause of any violence that occurred that day, but that doesn’t absolve those counter protestors who instigated violence on their own. Acting as if the only violent people who came to Charlottesville that day spoiling for a violent brawl were the neo-Nazis is irresponsible, though I don’t think both sides need to be equally condemned.
Everytime organized, nonviolent resistance was tried against the Nazis in World War II it worked. Thousands of Jews were saved. Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann admitted during his trial that Hitler’s “Final Solution” was an utter failure in Denmark.
Protestant pastors and Catholic priests “converted” Jews to Christianity so that they could remain safe.
The wives of prisoners held in a noted Berlin prison stood outside the walls in protest until the German authorities released them.
Bishops in other nearby countries threatened to lie down on railroad tracks to stop the trains and the Germans backed down.
Jews were hidden by German families in their homes.
Jews were smuggled across borders.
The German army was well prepared to meet armed resistance, but less able to cope with strikes, civil disobedience, boycotts and other forms of nonviolent action.
A famous example is when the Norwegian teachers were told to join the Nazi party and teach Nazism in schools or face the consequences. When 12,000 teachers signed a declaration against the new law, 1000 were arrested and sent to prison camps. But the strike continued and after some months the order was cancelled and they were allowed to continue their work.
Two words that explain the entire debacle: George Soros. If you think this wasn’t staged, take some time to see what that monster is into and what orgs he funds.
I think you’re confusing state intervention using force to protect the welfare of its people and personal intervention. If you see no difference between the two, you will never agree with ‘conservatives’ like myself. You’ve also previously shown a rather confusing definition of ‘violence’, including fines within your definition.
I would also add the use of the term ‘Religious Right’ clearly has political overtones and I dont find it an appropriate phrase to use to describe fellow Christians. Im happy to call you ‘progressive’ as that seems to be self-labelled, but I wouldnt use the term ‘Religious Left’.
As for the particular event, from watching media reports here in the UK, it seems the white supremacists arrived like a mini-army, with guns, batons and shields, and chanting ‘No Jews to replace us’ or similar. I would have thought uttering such offensive language would have been enough to arrest them? One of their leaders was shown on a video before the march laying out his cash of weapons he was bringing to the rally, then he made a subsequent video after it, showing him blubbering because he was being ‘persecuted’. Seriously?!
As for Trump, well we all know he is something of an idiot. I dont think he’ll last long given that so far he hasnt fulfilled any of his promises, and in fact has reversed some – like staying in Afghanistan. But no doubt he still believes, ‘It’s going to be great, folks’.
“I think you’re confusing state intervention using force to protect the
welfare of its people and personal intervention. If you see no
difference between the two, you will never agree with ‘conservatives’
like myself.” I considered that version, but decided it didn’t capture what was going on. Would you argue that the people who took up arms against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War were on the wrong side of the law? Or were they fighting for the truth, against hateful oppression, in a way that we are supposed to as well.
It’s true that many people in the US (and the UK) were not against Nazism and Fascism until they began invading other countries (to get back land that was “rightfully theirs,” of course). But the typical claim these days is that fighting Nazism was somehow noble and right. And you know what? It was. (Leaving aside the issue of non-violence, which is maybe an unChristian thing to do, if you want to identify fights that were noble and right, that was one of the few.) So if you are going to carve out an exception for protecting against aggression, and say that is the only part people should use for moral equivalence, then you are asserting that it doesn’t matter whether people are oppressors or freedom fighters, as long as the current borders are maintained. I don’t think that really works, do you?
Yes, Mr. Corey’s incessant use of the terms “religious right” and “right-wing” to describe his interlocutors does not reflect well on him. Let people label themselves.
The problem with Mr. Corey’s blog post is that he doesn’t actually quote any specific person, so it’s impossible to know whether he’s mischaracterizing that person’s argument (which I’ve noted he’s done in the past). You make a good observation about how he doesn’t even seem to understand the difference between state and personal violence. He just creates paraphrases and refutes them, all the while ascribing the “quotes” to the “religious right” as if everyone who is Christian and politically conservative has one viewpoint.