I find the association of Christianity and violence, by professed Christians at least, a little strange. Whenever I hear these sorts of things I am reminded of the rabbinic story about the goings on in heaven during the parting of the Red Sea. When the waters returned and drowned the Egyptian army, the story goes, the angels started to sing. God immediately reacted, saying, “Quiet! My children are dying!”.
Of course, how far do you take these things? I like a good action movie as much as the next guy, for example. Should I not watch them? I like rousing music from action movies, as well. Should I not listen?
And then there’s the whole notion of a Christian warrior. I’ve read several recent military memoirs where the clash between the religious among US troops and the non-religious is highlighted. Or stories of strong Christianity among the many in the CIA, aka the Dirty Tricks Club.
I’m a rank amateur in Christian philosophy (and only had “Intro to Philosophy” in college), but one can’t avoid this classic question (not limited to Christians or Buddhists. Pacifists of all stripes get hit, and political theory impacted, as in the endless debates on the Iraq invasion) of whether there is a defensible place for some form of violence in your philosophical, political, or religious worldview, or if you can live with a certain degree of cognitive dissonance.
One thing is certain: I won’t be answering this age-old question for you here. Better heads than mine have been bloodied beating walls on this one. 😉