I left the following comment on the post and Digg.
Well, I'm a Christian. As you know, people who call themselves that are usually instantly thought of as ranging from Reconstructionist and Dominionists to supporters of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson. I don't fall on that spectrum. Bear with me here.
You're concerned about your sister and her boyfriend and the others and rightly so. You've used some excellent words, such as "empathy" and "cooperation." You've openly admitted to not having the answers. That's the tendency of a person who is basically trying to be honest.
I've read and thought in depth about anarchism. Tolstoy was a self-professing Christian Anarchist. I understand it, but it is an oxymoron in the final analysis.
The main issue a real Christian has with the brand of anarchy you've described is hypocrisy. Let me explain briefly.
You have explained that the idea isn't to protest for protest's sake but rather to (among other things) draw attention to the Iraq War. It was started by abject liars. You are completely right about that. However, breaking windows is coercive. It is aggressive. The point is that you don't want others breaking your windows, so don't do what you don't want done to you. Take it a step further, and do to others what you want, or ought to want, done to you, which is harmlessness and better yet, beneficence.
Falling to destruction of property raises the issue of where to draw the line. Will you destroy all the buildings in the village to save it? How many windows is it okay to break? The people will only harden their hearts.
Here's the deal. The state as it is, is not going to correct. You have said that Anarchists are good at building communities. Therefore, Anarchists, stop trying to correct the state. Go ahead and build your communities. Set the example. Turn and put all your energies into that.
I did say "harmlessness" above. That requires a concerted effort to be brutally honest with oneself.
Now, I'm against violent coercion or any other kind of forcing people against their wills, so I won't vote or engage in coercive acts to influence the violent state to side with anything because it would just turn around and force others to do my will if it were to heed me. The only thing I can do is call upon people within the system to change their hearts, in which case, they won't remain emotionally in that system.
The state isn't going to transform. It isn't going to take on a new wineskin to hold new wine or emotions. The current type of state is going to crash with billions in it. Too many Anarchists are in the roll of the Zealots of old. They want something different from what those Zealots wanted, but the Anarchists are facing the exact same crowd as did the Zealots and will meet with the same fate if the Anarchists don't turn from violence and destruction.
The window breaking is counterproductive. It turns off many who also hate the wars and occupations: Evil imperialism.
You may not believe, but God bless you regardless.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
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Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
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- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)