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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Schism Sunday: Civil Disobedience

Welcome to our first edition of Schism Sunday! What is Schism Sunday? I'm glad you asked. We will be featuring a controversial topic every Sunday happening in our country, community, Christendom, or world. We will specifically be picking topics that main stream Christianity hasn't provided answers to or divides Christians. Our goal is to have an open civil discussion on how we, as Christians, (or nonChristians who like to engage in debate) use our faith to shape our opinions. We are hoping to stay away from some of the hyped up debates you see all over the internet (Rob Bell, anyone?) and bring to the surface other discussions that affect and touch us. So all you creepers out there, prepare to devirginize your commenters status and engage with us and our loyal commenters in some good old fashioned debate and discussion. Disagreement is not a bad word, we can still love and respect each other (and please do be respectful) and still not see eye to eye. So with that, we will commence with our first Sunday Schism: Civil Disobedience. Bring it on!

Many times change happens through acts of civil disobedience. Martin Luther King, Jr is perhaps the greatest example of a leader who orchestrated far reaching acts of civil disobedience to change our country. You might think there is no modern need for such protests and justified law breaking but many all over the US are doing just that. People like Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way have been protesting injustices using peaceful methods that break some silly laws. The most recent bout of peaceful protests in this country has centered around the wars the US has been engagged in in Iraq and Afghanistan. One program called 1040 for Peace is asking Americans to refuse to pay $10.40 of their taxes every year until defense spending is cut and we bring home every troop from these conflicts. Closely linked to 1040 for Peace is the organization Veterans for Peace. Here is a video of their December 10th protest in Washington DC.

So what do you think? Is there a need for civil disobedience today? Can you break the law and not sin? Are you happy with the current US budget and involvement overseas?


  1. Can you break the law and not sin? Fascinating question. We all speed - which is of course breaking the law - does this mean every time we go one mile an hour over the limit God is disgusted with our sin? I'd say God cares less about us adhering to the letter of the law and more about the state of our hearts. I think laws often cause us to violate spirit of the law type of stuff, and I think this is where Shane Claiborne is bold and gets "it." I'm not endorsing whatever campaign he's promoting, but I will say as someone who's opposed to empires flexing military muscle this is a worthy thing to fight against (in a non-violent way). I'd bet some would even say it's a sin to NOT work against violence!

  2. I think if a law causes us to go against what Christ calls us to do, then you're right, it would be a sin NOT to break said law. But then we would have to discuss if Jesus calls us to war or to flex military muscle. I think there are a differing views on this in Christendom today.

    Have you read any of Shane Claiborne's books, Charlie? I really enjoyed Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President.


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