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Women speaking out (right)
Crowds in Tahrir Square
Jesus is neither a pacifist nor warmonger. He is Jesus, the son of
God. Like a good Son He believed in and followed His Fatherâ
€™s approach for defeating the most intractable and entrenched
enemy humankind has and will ever face, sin. The approach was
literally to love humankind to death. That is, Jesus and our Father
God loved humankind so much that they believed humankind
should be set free from the tyranny of sin, so much so that Jesus
died for his belief.
This approach is a stark contrast to the â€œwisdomâ€� espoused
and accepted by most people, that tyranny can only be defeated
by force. We see both the sacrificial and force approaches to
confronting tyranny playing out in the news from the Middle East
and North Africa, and it seems the sacrificial approach is achieving
On Jan. 25, 2011, after 18 days of mass non-violent protests, the
tyrannical 30-year rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
ended. It took Egyptian protestors only 18 days to do what many
that chose the violent confrontation approach never
accomplished. At least 384 Egyptians lost their lives sacrificially in
an effort to set their fellow Egyptians free from tyranny.
On the other hand, Libyans have chosen the road of violent
confrontation and have accomplished little. Libyans chose an
armed rebellion, but have not been able to free themselves from
the tyrannical rule of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi despite the
military assistance from the United States and its NATO allies.
Hundreds, if not thousands of Libyans have paid the ultimate prices
and have achieved no more than a stalemate with the madman
Non-violence just makes sense. Some of the protestors in Egypt
claim they were inspired by an American professor, Dr. Gene
Sharp. The retired professor of political science and author of the
book The Politics of Nonviolent Action contends that non-
violence is â€œwise.â€� He argues: â€œWhy should you choose
to fight with your enemy's best weapons? That doesn't make sense
at all. Nonviolent struggle is a kind of people-power. You have a
much greater chance of succeeding by you choosing the means that
they're not equipped to deal with effectively.â€�
Dr. Sharp was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, who is quoted as
saying â€œwhenever you are confronted with an enemy, conquer
him with loveâ€� and â€œnon-violence is the weapon of the
Martin Luther King, Jr., another man inspired by Gandhi, often
preached the ends do not justify he means, but the ends are
subsumed in the means. In other words, those who defeat a
government using violence will use violence to protect the power of
the new government.
Those who really want to be free cannot kill for freedom; they
must be willing to die for it.
*Greg McNair is assistant general counsel for Los Angeles Unified School District
and an elder at the Culver Palms Church of Christ..
Other articles in this website on Egypt's influence through time
include a history of ancient Egypt, a look at the movie classic
Cleopatra and a study of Egypt in the Bible.
I'd love to hear your comments on recent events in North Africa
and the Middle East or any of these articles. Just write me at b.
By Greg McNair, Guest