Sins of the Nonviolent



Warriors carry the sins of violence, of killing the innocent, intentionally and by negligence. But the nonviolent carry sins too, because war is a collective crime and must be understood in its totality as an anti-civilization human phenomenon. The nonviolent play their role. Their sin is the sin of negativity, divestment, emotional distance, bifurcation, polarization, demonization. Divestment and hate are easy but more cowardly. It is the same everywhere. Arabs and muslims walk away from Syria if they are nonviolent, even fellow Syrians. They don’t support. Violent people are guilty of their own crimes but nonviolent are guilty of the sin of negativity, emotional cowardice and selfishness. And I realize the irony of such a negative post. But this must be reflected upon. It is easy to hate Israelis right now, it has been for a long time. But know that it does nothing for life, for peace, for justice. Nothing. Those few of us who have ripped our guts out being in between enemies in the Middle East for a generation or more, know what it is to stand positively in between, with love, with support. We know what it is to be suspected and accused and condemned and boycotted by both sides at once. We know what it is to be dismissed as naive and useful idiots. But we also know that the only metrics of victory in murder is a life saved, in hate is love, in fear is comfort and security, in anger is comfort and solidarity. We fail often to stay positive, every day, but we know we are on the right path because history eventually comes our way, and the descendants are always embarrassed by the sins of the fathers. So the next time you think you are saving lives by yelling don’t be fooled. Yell if you must, get it out of your system for five minutes, and then ask yourself how you can create life where there is only death.


(Photo source: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)


© Marc Gopin