Monday, February 13, 2012

Gay Marriage – Non-Violence is Key - Use of Violent Confrontation Strategies - The Moral Arguments of People Who Are Being Unjustly Treated Become Irrelevant – The Use of Violence Only Creates More Violence | PART 4

This posting is the fourth part of a larger one and was sent out as a US group mailing prior to posting here on the Thalamus Center.

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

GAY MARRIAGE - Benedict XVI Dismisses Science Reason – Natural Law | Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely | PART 1

GAY MARRIAGE – Understanding – NATURAL LAW & How it can be used? – With or Without - Reason & Rational |To Support - Benedict XVI & Hierarchy’s Vague & Negative Statements Against Homosexuality | PART 2

GAY MARRIAGE – “Doublespeak” Benedict XVI - IRRATIONAL Shift Blame Gays – Evading UN Accusations Global COVER-UPS Child Sexual Abuse “…a COMPLETE FAILURE to take responsibility” | PART 3

Non-Violent Struggle
Conflict Research Consortium,
University of Colorado, USA

The problem with the use of violent confrontation strategies is that they quickly escalate to the point where the parties' only concerns are victory, vengeance, and self-defense. In these cases, the moral arguments of people who are being unjustly treated become irrelevant. What matters is that they have used violent strategies and their opponent is, therefore, justified in a violent response. This problem is complicated by the fact that both sides are usually able to argue that the other side started the violence.

Non-violent resistance strategies, such as those pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are designed to avoid this trap by absolutely refusing to be drawn into a violent confrontation. Far from being cowardly, this is a strategy that requires tremendous courage, self-control, as well as a willingness to endure pain and sometimes even death. The strength of nonviolence lies in its ability to dramatically reduce the moral legitimacy of those who persist in using violent strategies against non-violent opposition. This loss of legitimacy can, in turn, contribute to coalition-building efforts leading to widespread condemnation of parties using violent strategies and often the imposition of sanctions by the international community.   In essence, non-violent resistance is a strategy for countering the power of violent force with the power of the integrative system. Many non-violent techniques can also be effective when used against illegitimate uses of legal, political, or other types of force…
Read more:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi's Non-Violence

…Elements of Gandhi’s philosophy were rooted in the Indian religions of Jainism and Buddhism. Both of these advocate ahimsa (non-violence), which is “absence of the desire to kill or harm” (Chapple 10). The Acaranga Sutra, a Jainist text, describes the fundamental need for non-violence: “All beings are fond of life; they like pleasure and hate pain, shun destruction and like to live, they long to live. To all, life is dear” (Chapple 11). Ahimsa is a way of living and thinking which respects this deeply.

Gandhi was both religious (he was Hindu) and open-minded, and saw the different religions as paths to the same goal. He was inspired by the teachings of Jesus, in particular the emphasis on love for everyone, even one’s enemies, and the need to strive for justice. He also took from Hinduism the importance of action in one’s life, without concern for success; the Hindu text Bhagavad-Gita says, “On action alone be thy interest, / Never on its fruits / Abiding in discipline perform actions, / Abandoning attachment / Being indifferent to success or failure” (Wolpert 71).

For Gandhi, ahimsa was the expression of the deepest love for all humans, including one’s opponents; this non-violence therefore included not only a lack of physical harm to them, but also a lack of hatred or ill-will towards them. Gandhi rejected the traditional dichotomy between one’s own side and the “enemy;” he believed in the need to convince opponents of their injustice, not to punish them, and in this way one could win their friendship and one’s own freedom. If need be, one might need to suffer or die in order that they may be converted to love (Shepard 4).

Gandhi also firmly believed that if violence was used to achieve any end – even if it was employed in the name of justice – the result would be more violence. But such pragmatism in matters of non-violence was unimportant to Gandhi. Thomas Merton writes:

"In Gandhi’s mind, non-violence was not simply a political tactic which was supremely useful and efficacious in liberating his people from foreign rule. [. . .] On the contrary, the spirit of non-violence sprang from an inner realization of spiritual unity in himself" (6)…
Read more:

Mahatma Gandhi, History and Politics
University of California Los Angeles

UCLA Historian Publishes Biography of Gandhi
“Gandhi's Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi” 2002
UCLA International institute
“…the Great Soul's insistence that no end, however worthy, justified impure means was also responsible for his greatest insights: a complete rejection of nuclear weapons as a hedge against war…”

Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence
James Madison University

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"
Martin Luther King

The Martin Luther King, Jr.
Center for Nonviolent Social Change

In his 1959 Sermon on Gandhi, Dr. King elaborated on the after-effects of choosing nonviolence over violence: “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle’s over, a new relationship comes into being between the oppressed and the oppressor.” In the same sermon, he contrasted violent versus nonviolent resistance to oppression. “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
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Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include:
Read more:
The King Center


Step One: Information Gathering

To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a person, community or institution, you must do research. You must investigate and gather all information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the problem. You must become an expert on your opponent’s position.

·      Past and present newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television
·      Organizations or groups that might have expertise in some aspect of the issue
·      Public library
·      Discussions with other people and interviews
·      The Internet

Step Two: Education

It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This minimizes misunderstanding and gains you support and sympathy.

Step Three: Personal Commitment

Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in your work for justice.

Step Four: Negotiations

Using grace, humor and intelligence, confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for address­ing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is positive in every action and statement the position makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but call forth the good in the opponent. Look for ways in which the opponent can also win.

Step Five: Direct Action

These are actions taken to morally force the opponent to work with you in resolving the injustices. Direct action imposes a “creative tension” into the conflict. Direct action is most effective when it illustrates the injustice it seeks to correct.

·      There are hundreds of direct action tactics, including:
·      Boycotts–refuse to buy products
·      Marches and rallies
·      Rent strikes and work slowdowns
·      Bank-ins, property occupancy, and financial withdrawal
·      Political denial through voting
Direct action is most effective when it illustrates the injustice it seeks to correct.

Step Six: Reconciliation

Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, evil and unjust acts, not against persons.

Derived from the essay “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in Why We Can’t Wait, New York: Penguin Books, 1963.

The Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change are based on Dr. King’s nonviolent campaigns and teachings which empha­size love in action.
Read more:
The King Center

Waukesha County Technical College

Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.,
April 16, 1963 - Birmingham, Alabama

The Nobel Peace Prize 1964
Martin Luther King Jr.

Social Justice Movements  
Columbia University

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Research and Education Institute
Stanford University

Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies
University of Rhode Island

What you cannot do is accept injustice. From Hitler – or anyone. You must make the injustice visible – be prepared to die like a soldier to do so.

Mahatma Gandhi

"We can't afford to have two kinds of citizens, we must have
equal citizenship for anybody in our country."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Ku Klux Klan put a bounty of $25,000 on
Eleanor Roosevelt’s head
because they didn't want her
teaching people how to protest discrimination. 1958

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