Yesterday, the Pope handed President Trump signed copies of two of his messages, one on climate change and one entitled “Nonviolence – A Style of Politics for Peace.” The President responded, “We’ll be reading them.”
Let’s hope. The latter is the most Christ-like assessment of the violence in our world I’ve read. And I am convinced, the only true solution. Read it, and imagine what would happen if President Trump took it to heart. Imagine if the man who many times said, “I would bomb the hell out of ISIS,” and , “we gotta knock the shit out of these people,” and “when you get these terrorist, you have to take out their families,” had a sudden and complete conversion to Christ’s way of peace. It would be almost too much for the world to handle.
If the President made nonviolence his politics, who would support him? There is no shortage of people looking for ways to remove Trump from office. Unfortunately, I think nothing would do it faster than if he became President Peace, and asked us to “love our enemies.” Some of his biggest critics would be American Christians. If you ask around, many church goers think that Jesus’s command to turn the other cheek is misunderstood, unrealistic, or dangerous. I’ve heard many religious folks try to explain that Jesus didn’t really mean that. What they are really saying is that reactive violence is stronger than the love of God.
But what if it’s the other way around? What if reactive violence is the lie, and only leads to more violence?