Punch-a-Nazi is the battle cry of many on the political left in America. “Kill a commie for Mommy” is a similar slogan for the political right. Curiously, we ask ourselves how come everything is so “polarized?” Well, it is simple. People want to claim they will fight. Others actually want to fight. Even among those people, the fight is meant to be through the keyboard. It is all ridiculous. Extremism is not a problem. It is in vogue. The more extreme one is the more it is encouraged by other people. This is all very infantile behavior. It was started and maintained by adult infants. But it is not just bad behavior. There is real money to be made from it.
The Downward Punch
A slogan that is meant to be a program among Progressives is “Speaking Truth to Power.” It is another way of claiming to punch upward into the hierarchy. People who say this claim they are only attacking the powers that be or the real powers. But this is nothing but punching downward. Culture-warrior preaching is said to be out in the open when it is usually to a private audience. The same thing can be said for sermons given in liberal enclaves. If we meet together, it is not for listening. But talking at someone. A recent speaker I listened to claimed we should never try to have a discussion before a vote. All the dialogue becomes are arguments to persuade and win.
The temptation to punch downward is too much for some of us. We will paint our opponents in one shade of red or the other. Opponents become either Nazis or Commies. The easiest and most vulnerable targets become the worst examples of evil. Anti-Semites who are convinced of a great “Zionist” conspiracy attack synagogues filled with elderly worshippers. They talk about a great and powerful enemy. But they kill vulnerable people.
In the same way, people claiming to take-on white nationalism attack all Christianity including those who do good in their communities. Recently one such friend attacked all pastors as child-molesters. Of course, that person does not mean me. But why paint with such a broad brush?
Hatred As Infection
A local would-be storm trooper died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. What is a tragedy for his family became a hate-fest for some of our local leftist clicktivists. It made me consider the words from Psalm 139, “I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them as my enemies.” We pray this psalm. Did Jesus do so too? My guess is he did. But I don’t think he thought it gave anyone the belief that we could urinate on the graves of anyone.
The next verses, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wickedness in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” The Psalm is ascribed to David who could not pass the test. It is important to note that wickedness is an infection in Psalm 139. It is not part of the wonder of the creation God meant for the human person to be. In hating another person, there is a self-loathing that recognizes kinship with the perceived evil in the other person.
Punch, Pummel, and Press
Pressing a confession from a prisoner until the person dies is torture. Repeatedly striking people until they are dead is the highest drama in movies. Both are used as excuses to fight back and destroy the enemy. The Nazi or other authoritarian experiences a psychological torture that seeks control and affirmation. Punching such a person only adds to and justifies their paranoia. There really is no excuse for such people thinking as they do. They must be opposed. No assassin ever accomplished the change they perceived would come about with the death of a person. Violence never redeems.
It is claimed nonviolence is the plea of the privileged. The belief that those who suffer need the satisfaction of torturing the torturers runs a greater risk of perpetuating hatred. Losers never forget. Winners forget what they did to win as well as what they did to the losers.
Nonviolence is the way to the beloved community.