Sunday, June 21, 2015

More war? "PUT A MUZZLE ON IT!"

J.M.W. Turner, Fishing Boats with Hucksters Bargaining for Fish, 1837/38
(Art Institute of Chicago)

We were blessed to have Pastor Liz Muñoz preaching at St. Luke's Logan Square today, as Pastor Erik Christensen was off recovering from the previous evening's wedding to his new husband, Kerry Jenkins.

Preaching on the story of Jesus commanding the storm on the Sea of Galilee to be silent, (Mark 4:35-41), Pastor Liz told us his rebuke -- "Quiet! Be still!" -- literally translates as something quite a bit more forceful: "PUT A MUZZLE ON IT!" (Σιώπα πεφίμωσο - see note on



Perhaps.  And yet . . . .

Why is it sometimes necessary to forbid noise? (Can saying SHUT UP! be an act of love?)

I've been thinking a lot lately about World Beyond War, and the simple question we have been asking:

A world beyond war IS possible!
(If more people believed it ... and said it ... what might be different?)

Not just a few less wars. Not just less destructive wars. How about no war?

World Beyond War understands that bringing about a world without war will require enormous effort by many, many people -- as articulated, for instance, in "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War."

Fundamentally, however, we also understand that it all begins with a belief and a speech act: saying the words "A world beyond war IS possible" . . . .

Why? Because conflict resolution by other means IS possible . . . BUT . . . only if the frequent resort to violence is first stopped in its tracks.

That's why it's important for people, when talk begins of yet another military intervention, to be unequivocal. Even a bit harsh. That's the time to say: NO!

(Or, as we say on Twitter, #NOwar!)

I believe that when Jesus rebuked the wind, when he said, "PUT A MUZZLE ON IT!" he wasn't just showing what he could do. He was showing the apostles what they were to do. Because sometimes being an apostle of the Good News requires a startling pronouncement that the noise is no longer to be tolerated.


Spread the word on

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saying #NOwar

Related posts

I believe an enormous number of people will conclude that, if they really believe "we can choose to abolish war," then what's required is to speak it.

(See "We can choose to abolish war" (The rest is just details) )

Iraq is melting -- how did that happen? -- and the usual suspects have concluded there's no time like the present to inject another dose of US firepower into the situation. (Because . . . nothing helps stop violence like additional violence?)

(See "OMG! We could actually DEBATE this!" (Congress on Iraq, ISIS, and AUMF) )

What I'm feeling particularly energized about is the potential for the thousands of people who have already signed on as supporters of World Beyond War -- as well as millions more who are expected to do so soon -- to become active participants in spreading this good news.

(See News Worth Spreading: "There IS An Alternative to War!" )

There's no question that for the next 18 months, we members of the general public will be deluged with media about the 2016 presidential election. Maddeningly, 99 and 44/100% of that media will make no mention of the need to end U.S. wars, occupations, imperialism, and militarism.

(See I Support Antiwar Candidates! (Know Any?) )