Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Anarchy and Apocalypse: Essays on Faith, Violence, and Theodicy (2010) by Ronald E. Osborn

This book consists of eleven essays Ron Osborn wrote between 1999 to 2010. He covers a wide range of subjects such as the Holocaust, President Obama's Christian Realism and the death of the Seventh-day Adventists as a peace church (Osborn was raised as an Adventist). All the essays bar one were written in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jesus called his followers to not resist evil but turn the other cheek. The US government contravened this command by retaliating to 9/11. Osborn explains that such a response only serves to create more violence. To break the cycle of violence it is necessary to return good for evil.

In reading Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You and Noam Chomsky's The Chomsky Reader, Osborn was led from pacifism to Christian anarchism. Tolstoy viewed the state as a violent and deceitful institution that has no place in a truly Christian society.

Anarchy and Apocalypse is a great book for all those who believe Christianity is not merely a faith but a radical way of living.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The world's largest "defence and security" fair


Arming repressive regimes. Boosting arms company profits. Displaying the latest killing technology. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.

The world’s biggest arms fair – DSEi – is coming to East London this September. Unless we stop it.

This year we’ve witnessed more of the horror that comes when the UK arms repressive regimes — armoured vehicles used to suppress protest in Libya and Bahrain were sold by the UK, along with crowd control equipment and tear gas.

With over 1200 companies exhibiting, and military delegations from all over the world, DSEi 2011 is back and bigger than ever, selling everything from F16 planes to unmanned drones.

There are also training sessions happening across the UK in the run up to DSEi.

Stop The Arms Fair coalition have called a day of action on 13th September and there’s loads of other actions planned…

Further reading.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

What goes around comes around

This cartoon reminded me of Jesus' rebuke to Peter, "Put your sword back in its place, for all who live by the sword will die by the sword." (Mathew 26:52).

It Shoots Further Than He Dreams (1918) by John F. Knott
For more anti-war cartoons see here.

Monday, 15 August 2011

I guess it was bound to happen one day


Yesterday, Sunday afternoon, I saw a young lady, obviously going to the city centre here in Amsterdam, carrying a black linen shopping bag with an encircled A on it. That, unfortunately, may be part of the modern marketing mix of rebellion (think of Levi's advertising a riot just in the days of the #ukriots).
This A within an O was different however. It had an extra vertical line through the horizontal line of the A, making it a cross symbol.

She walked verry hurriedly, as if not wanting to miss a second of the modern day Sunday worship of buying, so I could not take the opportunity of stopping her to ask what this printed symbol was supposed to mean.

Search engines yield no significant results.
Christian anarchism cannot possibly be that hip, can it?
Especially when you think that it is supposed to be critical of consumerism.
If anyone sees one...

Updates

Here is some commercial "offering" but it is the Alpha-Omega type.
This comes closer to what I saw, see the illustration. The thing I saw yesterday was a bit more modestly looking.
Don't know if I should laugh or cry now.