Israel, Gaza, and The End of Taking Sides

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” ~ MLK

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.” ~ Isaiah

No one’s got Christ more wrong than Christians.” ~ Tom Petty



If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably seen more than one person post something recently that explains who is ACTUALLY to blame for the current conflict in Israel and Palestine. And as the violence escalates (as violence always does), people take to Facebook and Twitter with renewed fervor to share slick PR and one-sided propaganda. This will not be one of those posts. I have no interest in adding to the noise of that never-ending argument. I could spend 1500 words trying to convince you of the complexity of the situation, but if you can’t already see how both sides could truly believe that they are on the “right” side, nothing I write here is going to convince you.

You’ve probably already seen the videos attempting to explain the reasons behind the fighting: Both the “Pro-Palestine” video (that makes no mention of the very real threat of groups dedicated to the eradication of the Jews) and the “Pro-Israel” video (that attempts to simplify the issue down to “One side wants the other dead”–A ridiculously broad brush). And then, like me, you’ve probably watched as the conversations that followed disintegrated before your eyes, and any hope of understanding was abandoned. On a side note, I believe that if you really want to understand the history behind the conflict in the Holy Land, the video below by Nina Paley is probably your best place to start. In addition, you can go to her website for an explanation about each of the characters in the video.

Beyond the history of Palestine and the continued conflict in the region, this latest violence erupted after Palestinian extremists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli boys. The people who did this horrible act probably wanted Israel to respond with an attack…. and Israel gave them exactly what they wanted, priming the pump of violence that would swell into even more hatred and revenge and death. As I’m writing this, the U.N. reports that so far there have been 635 people killed in Gaza, 4,040 wounded–with 70-80% of those casualties being civilians. For Israel, 25 soldiers and two civilians have been killed.

More slick PR... Is it possible that things are more complex than this?

More slick PR… Is it possible that things are more complex than this?

The thing is, even something like mentioning those asymmetrical statistics is often perceived by many people as being “anti-Israel.” For people who possess such crystal-clear certainty on this issue, even suggesting the possibility of complexity is perceived as declaring an alliance with the other side. Even something as simple as expressing empathy for the people who are trapped in Gaza makes many people feel compelled to recount a litany of things that Israel has done right compared with all the many evils Hamas has perpetrated. But in all of the posts I have seen detailing the many horrors happening in Gaza over the past few weeks, I have seen exactly ZERO PEOPLE say they think that Hamas is doing the right thing. Zero. However, if someone posts a story of four Palestinian kids getting killed on a beach by Israeli shelling, within moments there are comments insisting this tragedy must only be viewed through the lens of Hamas’  inhuman tactics. If we point out the suffering in Gaza, it must be “appropriately” framed by pointing out how the Palestinians are to blame.

I guess it's kind of a chicken/egg thing....

I guess it’s kind of a chicken/egg thing….

I suppose it helps to try to think about what it would be like in their shoes, but really I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live in that area right now. What do I know? Nothing. I don’t have any idea what it is like to be a Jew living in Israel…. Imagine living in an area where weddings are interrupted by sirens because a group of people wants you dead and fires indiscriminate rockets your way. No country in the world would allow rockets to keep being fired on them–no matter how impoverished the people are in that area, no matter how oppressed they are, no matter how much of a minority of the population is responsible for the rockets–without responding with military action. I get it.

Things might be a little harder in Gaza....

The guy in Tel Aviv is dressed to go out out to dinner later, and the guy in Gaza is dressed like he is dismantling a bomb…. Things might be a little harder in Gaza right now.

And I don’t have any idea what it is like being a Palestinian living in Gaza…. Imagine living in an area where shelling and air attacks in civilian areas have filled up the morgues and hospitals beyond capacity. I try to think about what it would be like in the U.S. if things went down like they did in Palestine. I mean, can you imagine? There are some people in this country who are ready to start shooting people and threatening to secede from the union over being told they can’t carry assault rifles into a Taco Bell. Can you imagine what kind of hell they would raise if they were told they had to pack up their things and give their house and their land away…. TO THE JEWS!?!? There are people buying hundred-round clips and getting neck tattoos that say “Live free or die” over something as simple as a modest income tax…. Imagine if people were forced to move out of their home. They would be firing every rocket they could find, and claiming that God is on their side as they did it. I get it.

This might be a bit of an over-simplification as well. But still.

This might be a bit of an over-simplification as well.   But still….

But really this is neither here nor there…. I am not on the side of Gaza and I am not on the side of Israel. I am on the side of recognizing the image of God in all people. I am on the side of loving our enemies. I am on the side of forgiveness and mercy. I am on the side of alleviating suffering, regardless of who’s to blame or where it is on the map. I believe this is our best response as humans, but this has to be your response if you are walking around calling yourself a Christian. As followers of Jesus and as humans, our compassion for suffering people is not determined by borders or nationality. The world focuses on fault, on who started it, on who’s to blame…. But the kingdom of God is different. The focus is not on responsibility, but on reconciliation. Not on accountability, but on empathy. Not on culpability, but on on compassion. Not on fault, but on friendship. Not on liability, but on love.

That Einstein guy was pretty smart.

That Einstein guy was pretty smart.

And I get that using Jesus to solve a problem between Jews and Muslims smacks of a western superiority complex, but here’s the thing: If you want to leave Jesus out of it, feel free. Christianity does not have a patent on nonviolence. Gandhi did just fine without Jesus. How hard is it to see? The strategy of More Violence as a response to More Violence is not working! And I understand that nonviolence can be a hard sell if people are shooting rockets at you or if your family just got killed in an air strike, but most of the people I see doing the arguing are sitting on couches. We are far from the fighting, and yet so many of us cannot even bring ourselves to acknowledge the complexity of the situation. What hope is there for people who are living in the midst of all this fear and hatred and war if we–living safely on the other side of the world and sacrificing little or nothing–cannot even IMAGINE that love might be an effective response to hate? And instead of using our words to make a moral or pragmatic case for nonviolence, we use them to argue with each other–safe in our houses–over which side is LESS wrong. But both sides are wrong and both sides are right…. To what degree depends on what group you’re in.

The choice to not hit back can change the world.

The choice to not hit back can change the world.

Both sides claim that the laying down of arms would certainly result in in their people’s demise, but this both dehumanizes the the other side and it drastically underestimates the powerful witness of an active nonviolence rooted in love. And really, it belies the spirit of God in all of us that cries out for justice and immediate action when we see images of little girls tumbling down the streets at the end of fires hoses, and men with badges turning loose dogs on young men who are doing nothing but standing on a sidewalk. Our stomachs turn, and both our humanity and our divinity well up inside of us. It is a bleak view of humanity that cannot imagine way out of this other than more violence, but it is an even bleaker view of Jesus Christ. The voice of God cries out for us to love our neighbor, but any mention of “loving one’s enemies” is met with reason after reason why THIS particular enemy is not deserving of love.

There IS an alternative. And that alternative is love.

Jasmin is Israeli, Osama is Palestinian. There IS an alternative. And that alternative is love. From #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

Everyone’s taking sides…. Well, if following Jesus has anything to do with taking sides, it is about taking the side of love over hate, of mercy over judgment, of peace over war, of humility over certainty, and of hope over fear.  And just like Martin Luther King, Jr. said in the quote at the top, the rejection of revenge, aggression, and retaliation is the way out of this. But again, this nonviolence does not necessarily have to go hand in hand with the name of Jesus. Anyone can claim the name of Jesus…. The Nazis claimed that name. Given the choice between the name of Jesus and the spirit of Jesus, I’ll take the spirit every time. I feel like I have more in common with a Jew or a Muslim who is working toward reconciliation and understanding and an end to the violence than I have in common with a Christian making a case for why Gaza deserved to be attacked, or why the deaths of the 132 Palestinian CHILDREN who died over the past two weeks were actually Hamas’ fault. Just like in the parable, sometimes the Samaritan gets it better than the priest or the levite. Christianity is not going to solve this…. Love is going to solve this problem.

There is hope.

There is hope.

I want to leave you with a couple glimmers of hope courtesy of the good people of Israel and Palestine…. Please, please check them out: The first is the story of Robi Damelin and Ali Abu Awaad. Robi’s son was killed by a Palestinian sniper, and Ali’s older brother was killed by an Israeli soldier. Their story of reconciliation and understanding in the face of tragedy is a story that has the power to break the cycle of violence. You can also read Robi’s powerful letter to the family of the sniper who killed her son David. And lastly, if you haven’t checked out the Twitter hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies yet, you really should. It’s inspiring and hopeful, and I think we can all use as much of that as possible right now. No matter your faith or lack thereof, let us continue to work at facilitating rational and loving discourse. And most of all, let us work together to alleviate suffering and end violence wherever we find it. Peace.

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39 Responses to Israel, Gaza, and The End of Taking Sides

  1. Robert Martin says:

    This… SO much this… Oh, man… THIS… Love it….

  2. Kath says:

    I thought this was a great article, up to this sentence: “Both sides claim that the laying down of arms would certainly result in in their people’s demise, but this both dehumanizes the the other side and it drastically underestimates the powerful witness of an active nonviolence rooted in love.” Do you not understand that killing every Jew and wiping Israel off the map is actually in Hamas’ charter? It is their reason for existing! There are many good Palestinians, but they are not in charge. Until they rise up and get rid of Hamas, there will be no peace, and more innocents will die.

    • evilsoup says:

      Hamas is a consequence of the Israeli ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. They only came into existence in 1987, after decades of oppression and slaughter.

      Furthermore, in spite of what their 1987/88 charter says, contemporary Hamas leaders have been fairly consistent in being willing to have ceasefires and in wanting to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Israel; they even rein in other groups, to the extent that they can. Your argument only holds water if you read that charter with absolutely no knowledge of the wider context of the conflict.

      Israel, meanwhile, insists on calling itself a Jewish state — the identity of the country is based around a profoundly racist idea. Now, Hamas is far from perfect — if it wasn’t for the horrible oppression the Palestinians were labouring under, I would be utterly opposed to them, in fact (but then again, if it wasn’t for the horrible oppression the Palestinians were labouring under, Hamas wouldn’t exist) — but the idea that the only thing stopping a peace between Israel and the Palestinians is the existence of Hamas is insane. It wasn’t Hamas who started this latest round of massacres; it’s not Hamas who have a blockade preventing people from getting basic necessities such as cement; it’s not Hamas who are blowing up hospitals and schools; it’s not Hamas who drop White Phosphorus on residential areas, burning people alive.

      Are there racists amongst the membership and leadership of Hamas? Undoubtedly: it would take me thirty seconds to find a dozen ‘Jewish bankers’ and Holocast denial statements that have been made by Hamas spokesmen. There are also members of the Israeli parliament openly calling for the genocide of the Palestinians, for the murder of Palestinian children — the difference is that one side is actually capable of carrying out these threats, while the other side is screaming hatred into the wind in an attempt to maintain some semblance of dignity and control over their lives.

      • theboeskool says:

        So, if we can keep the this comments section from becoming a place that focuses on “Who is more to blame,” that would be fantastic. There are plenty of places on the internet people can go to have that debate. Kath’s comment was not insane.

        People make case after case for why their side is the side on the “right” side of this conflict. If it were actually simple, if would be solved. But it’s not, and it’s not.

        If our words have any influence whatsoever on this situation (I’m not sure they do), let us use them to call out for love as a response to hate, and for an end to the strategy of violence as a response to violence. Do you think that either side is capable of responding positively to this sort of sacrificial love?

        It would be a shame to allow our own voice become another voice “screaming hatred into the wind.” If we’re going to be screaming anything into the wind, it might as well be love.

    • theboeskool says:

      Kath, Let’s say you’re right, and Hamas actually IS a murderous group of subhumans with no redeeming qualities whatsoever who will never stop until all Jews are dead, and the only way to get rid of them is for the Palestinians to “rise up and get rid of” them. Do you think that military strikes–leaving hundreds of dead civilians in their wake–and increased occupation are the best way to show the Palestinian people that Hamas, and not Israel, is actually the enemy?

      • evilsoup says:

        So, if we can keep the this comments section from becoming a place that focuses on “Who is more to blame,” that would be fantastic.

        Well, fine, it’s your blog, but (and I mean this with all respect, trying to have a decent conversation about this stuff is laudable): I think you’re taking a fundamentally flawed approach to the situation. I think it is vitally important to look at the wider context of the occupation, the inherent racism of zionism, the blockade, and so on in order to understand what is going on in Gaza right now (as much as an outsider can understand, anyway). I honestly don’t see how someone can take a step back, look at all the evidence, and come to the conclusion that Hamas are the main impediment to peace. They are primarily a symptom, rather than a cause.

        I mean, ‘why can’t we all just get along?’ is a fine sentiment (and I mean that 100% sincerely), but it feeds into the myth that this is a conflict between two warring tribes, and if everyone would just sit around a table and listen to each other then they’d reach a peaceful settlement. Israel at the moment is very much like Apartheid South Africa: yes, it’s possible for there to be peace and reconciliation in the long term, but first the people in power have to recognise that they’re in the wrong.

        If our words have any influence whatsoever on this situation (I’m not sure they do), let us use them to call out for love as a response to hate, and for an end to the strategy of violence as a response to violence. Do you think that either side is capable of responding positively to this sort of sacrificial love?

        Unfortunately, I think you’re correct — though it would be nice if discussions in the comment sections of blogs could influence world politics. Well, it would also be quite terrifying, given the normal standard of comment sections, but…

        Do you think that either side is capable of responding positively to this sort of sacrificial love?

        I do think that if the state of Israel were to stop its oppression — and that includes the blockade and discriminatory laws against Palestinians as much as it does the bombings — then there would not be complete peace straight away (we’re talking several generations of people grown up under constant threat of violence punctuated by actual, large-scale violence, and that’s going to leave a lot of psychological scars), but that would spell the end of large-scale attacks on the part of Hamas et al. If Israel stopped the current attack but left everything else as it is, then no, I don’t think that would change anything.

        If Hamas (and other militant Palestinian groups) gave up violence, then the oppression of the Palestinians would continue, and that would just spawn another group. Or, more likely, there would be a coup, and we’d end up with people in charge of Hamas who would be less willing to negotiate.

        (Apologies for replying to the wrong comment, but I can’t see a way to reply to your reply to my original comment.)

    • D. Lowery says:

      Loved the article…but I didn’t see anything about “Christian” Zionists in the US doing their best to stir the pot for their delusional rants from John Nelson Darby and other fundamentalists who have money and power in the US to keep this fighting up for their delusions.

      • theboeskool says:

        There are plenty of people who believe we must be “on the side of Israel” in order to be on the side of God. I believe many do this because of misguided literalism and misunderstood eschatology.

        There are other Christians who are “on the side of the Palestinians” because of their beliefs about how God (and Jesus, as the best expression of God’s love) is on the side of the oppressed.

        I personally believe that God is not on the side of any nation, but God is on the side of Humanity. He loves us, regardless of which side of a gun-enforced border we are on. Nationalism is at the heart of the problem in the Middle East, and God and nationalism do not mix. Deconstructing the belief that they DO go together is one of the ideological “battles” on the road to peace.

  3. Kath says:

    I believe with all my heart that there are good Palestinians in Gaza, and what is happening to them is beyond horrible. Israel is not targeting the civilians. To the contrary, they have tried their best to warn civilians to get out of the way. They are targeting the tunnels that Hamas has built to attack Israel, they are targeting military installations, they are targeting hidden missile launchers and ammunition. Hamas is actually telling their citizens not to get out of the way because the pictures of dead Palestinians, broadcast all over the world, helps their cause. War is hell, and innocent people die. What would you do if you were in charge in Israel? I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it’s nonetheless true: If the Palestinians laid down their guns, there’d be no more fighting. If the Israelis laid down their guns, there’d be no more Israel.

    • Robert Martin says:

      I beg to differ… I don’t think Hamas is even REMOTELY big enough to wipe out Israel if Israel stops shooting.

      Consider this…if Hamas is using the pictures of dead bodies to drum up support and justify their actions… what if we stopped giving them their photo ops and introduced DIFFERENT photo ops…. so…

      1) Keep Iron Dome up and running… it’s doing amazing things keeping those rockets out.
      2) Instead of dropping bombs in Gaza… how about medical supplies, food, water, etc, for the citizen population? Now, suddenly, the Israelis aren’t these evil folks out to kill them but folks who want to help… And what if Hamas “steals” the supplies? Well, again, suddenly, Israel isn’t the bad guy, Hamas is… hard to get support from the citizens if you’re stealing their food.

      Take away the photo op of dead babies being used to justify the continuing aggression and I think you’ll see Hamas reduce… replace the photo op of dead babies with a photo op of a plane with the Israeli flag dropping cases of anti-biotics, food, clothing, etc., into Gaza… and I’ll bet Hamas may even just disappear…

    • theboeskool says:

      It is certainly easier to justify killing people when we paint them as being completely evil, isn’t it?

  4. Kath says:

    @Robert, if only Hamas were the only ones who want to see the end of Jews. Unfortunately it’s not the case. And if you do some research you’ll find that Israel IS sending food, medicine, and aid to Gaza. In fact, they asked for a humanitarian ceasefire a couple of days ago to bring aid into Gaza and it was Hamas that broke the ceasefire. This won’t end because as much as the Palestinians may hate Hamas, they hate the Jews more. I’m not going to continue to debate this issue here because I don’t think we ever sway others to see things our way on the internet. I appreciate the respectful back-and-forth here, unlike my Facebook feed and some other places. But I think we can all agree that what is happening is awful and I hope they find peace soon. God bless.

  5. Veronica says:

    evilsoup, I lived in Israel for many years, though I’ve been in the U.S. for the last 10 years. There are many Palestinians living in Israel who are full citizens, with all the rights that being a citizens conveys. I believe that if Israel were to do as you say, the state of Israel would be obliterated within days.

    • theboeskool says:

      Yes, and believing that denies the humanity of your enemy, and it exposes an inherent disbelief in the validity of Jesus’ command to love our enemies.

      Which is at the heart of what I was attempting to write about….

    • mjt says:

      “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation…to rid the Galilee of its…population.” Some Hamas leader? Perhaps Arafat? No, David Ben-Gurion, a key founder of Israel, it’s first prime minister, and still a revered figure, as shown by Israeli’s main international airport. And don’t worry, he followed through, as best he could. Israel more or less invented modern terrorism. There are no clean hands here.

      • Veronica says:

        Clean hands? No. There is plenty of blame to go around. But the moral high ground? 100% Israel.

    • evilsoup says:

      I’m sure they have equal basic rights under the law, just (for example) African-Americans have the same legal rights as whites in the USA. I don’t for a second believe that they’re treated equally to Jews by the Israeli legal system.

      Even if all the Palestinians were psychotically, single-mindedly obsessed with killing all the Jews in Israel, they simply don’t have the capability — and the ability to get in a few AK47s from an open border wouldn’t change that. The IDF, meanwhile, is the only truly modern, professional army in the Middle East — even your conscripts are better trained than the full-time officers of most Arab armies, let alone groups like Hamas — and Israel is a key ally of the USA to boot.

    • bdhstone says:

      You can love your enemies and dispatch of them at the same time if it means protecting the innocent and lives of your families. Why are liberals so full of hate when they hear
      the N word used in America, but when the head of a Nation refers to Jews as brothers of Apes and Swine, they talk about love and acceptance? In Ecclesiastes Solomon wrote there is a time for everything. There is a time for war as well as a time for peace. Jesus acknowleged Solomon as a man with God given wisdom. You can love everyone but first and foremost you must protect the innocent. The command “Thou shalt not kill” is better interpreted “thou shalt not shed innocent blood”. That also meshes in beautifully with the balance of scripture!

      • theboeskool says:

        What are you talking about? “The N-word?!?”

        Soloman writes a poem, and Biblical literalists use it to justify their hatred…. All because he says, “A time for hate.” It is the worst sort of way to read the Bible. This kind of Bible-reading can be (and HAS BEEN) used to justify the worst atrocities the world has ever seen.

        Please stop.

      • bdhstone says:

        So…..Solomon writes a poem you say. And those of us that believe God uses His Word to communicate to us are less than rational beings….we are “literalists” and you know better. I’ll tell you this, why don’t you take your “faux” Chtistianiity and start a “new” cult by another name!

    • bdhstone says:

      Israel was very gracious in giving Palestinians citizenship. Why couldn’t the same be said for Jordan and other Arab Nations? Could it be as the scripture says, they would always be a thorn to the side of Israel?

  6. Veronica says:

    theboeskool, I think you are naive to think that way. You need only listen to the Hamas leadership to know that they would stop at nothing to kill every Jew on the planet. They do not deny that. Denying their humanity is a necessity when they care about nothing as much as killing me (a Jew) and my family, most of whom still reside in Israel. Shall we take the risk and give them the chance to do that? Maybe if it’s your family; not with mine.

    • theboeskool says:

      You’re not the only one who thinks it’s “naive to think that way,” Veronica. Hope can seem like naivety to a lot of folks. There are a lot of people who share your view. They might also think I’m naive to not buy a gun just in case. Someday I might die in a situation where my having a gun could have prevented my death…. I am alright with that.

      Also, I’d like to point out that you just wrote the words, “Denying their humanity is a necessity.” Let that simmer for a while….

      • bdhstone says:

        Boeskol I don’t know if you have children, but say you had a 13 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. If you were in a situation where having a gun would prevent their death, and you didn’t,, would you be alright with that too? Before Jesus ascended to heaven he told his disciples that now they would need to carry a sword in contrast to the times he was “physically” with them..Over zealous Peter exclaimed he had two, but Jesus said “one is enough”.

      • theboeskool says:

        Again…. the thought that this one cryptic verse suddenly overrides the steady drumbeat of nonviolence that pulsed throughout Jesus’ entire ministry is the worst way to read the Bible.

        And right after Jesus says this, Peter uses his sword to cut off a soldier’s ear (as the soldier comes to take an innocent man to be tortured and murdered), and Jesus admonishes Peter, say,”No more of this,” and HEALS THE SOLDIER’S EAR.

        Tertullian, one of the church fathers living in the first century, believed that in disarming Peter, Christ disarmed all soldiers. But if you read the Bible in a way that allows one verse to usurp the clear continuity of the message of scripture, a blogger you don’t even know is probably not going to be able to change your mind.

      • Kath says:

        Denying the humanity of animals is not such a stretch. (I am referring to Hamas, not to innocent Palestinians.)

  7. Veronica says:

    You may think that I am hard and cold. After 51 years of dealing with not just anti-Semitism, but dealing with those who wish me and mine dead, hard and cold are a necessity. I have no problem with seeing the lack of humanity in those who wish to kill me because I believe in a different God than they do.

    • evilsoup says:

      I pity you for that hatred you feel, but I pity the children the people you support are killing more.

      The ANC had songs with lyrics like ‘kill the Boer — kill the farmer’, calling for the killing of white South Africans. And yet, after twenty years of power, this genocide has not taken place, in spite of the predictions of the Apartheid government. And I’m not proposing that the Palestinians should be put in charge of Israel, just that they should be allowed to live in peace, to trade with the outside world & govern their own lives — that Israel should stop denying their humanity and allow them to live as humans. You’d still have Iron Dome and the only worthwhile military in the middle east.

      Why do you think Israel, which just blew up the fourth UN-run school in four days, has the moral high-ground here?

  8. Veronica says:

    You should wait to pass judgement on the blowing up of the UN school until it is determined who actually did it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an unintentional (or even intentional) hit by Hamas. Israel unquestionably has the moral high ground. They avoid civilian casualties as much as possible, they did not start this war, ugh, I could go on forever but I know it will not change the way you think. I agree that the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank should be allowed to live in peace. Would any of them agree that Jews should? Absolutely not.

  9. bdhstone says:

    Jesus saves….your own wisdom doesn’t. I am a Christian and if Daniel Pearl was my son I would have mowed everyone down in that room to save his life. It’s not about hate. It’s about protecting life. If 2000 rockets were not intercepted coming into Israel, you can imagine how different the story would be now. Israel might have unleashed a nuclear holocaust but it didn’t. It’s actions have actually saved lives. There is good and there is evil. There is death and there is life. The scripture says we must CHOOSE life. Sometimes that means overcoming evil.

    • theboeskool says:

      Finish the verse, dude…. It says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil WITH GOOD.”

      You can’t just leave the “with good” off to make your case that Christians sometimes have to “mow everyone down in the room.”

      Also, the only time the Bible talks about “choosing life” (two times in the old testament), it speaks of a choice between “life and prosperity” and “death and destruction.” Given a choice between those two things, even the misunderstood, seemingly war-happy God of the Old Testament directs his people to choose life.

      Which is exactly what I have been writing about.

  10. bdhstone says:

    This is becoming so “dudical”! When you protect innocent lives….you are doing

  11. Jesse says:

    “The people who did this horrible act probably wanted Israel to respond with an attack…. and Israel gave them exactly what they wanted, priming the pump of violence that would swell into even more hatred and revenge and death.”

    There it is. Exactly what al-Qai’da wanted on Sept 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden stated that their primary goal was to drag the US into a long war, thus bankrupting us. When will we learn?

  12. Veronica says:

    So Jesse, what would you have us do? Ignore the rockets raining down on Israel? Really?

    • Jesse says:

      Why do you assume I think ignoring the rockets is the answer? Do you expect me to believe that Israel is completely innocent and that rockets are raining down for no good reason? Perhaps it would be wise to seek the causes to the rockets raining down and address those issues, rather than simply dropping more bombs, which will only cause more rockets, which will only cause more bombs, ad infinitum. Just as those who launch attacks on the US are responding to issues that need to be addressed, Palestinians are responding to issues that need to be addressed. I am in no way condoning Palestinians launching rockets at Israel, but I also do not condone Israelis dropping bombs on Palestinians.

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