on peace (reposted from November 27, 2007)
Jesus was nonviolent, and he taught his disciples to be nonviolent. When Jesus was being arrested, Peter tried to use force to defend Jesus. Jesus told him not to, saying "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword," suggesting that those who act violently are likely to come to a violent demise.
Of course, we know who else came to a violent demise: the nonviolent Jesus and most of his nonviolent disciples.
Turning the other cheek, loving and blessing our enemies, these are not maxims to live a cheerful and successful life. A life of nonviolence often comes with suffering.
Certainly those who live a life of violence may suffer a violent end. But so too can children, victims of wars they don't create or understand. So too can Christian martyrs, who willfully choose their death and do not fight back. So too can the victims of genocide, killed not because they lived by the sword but merely for who they were (and are).
Those who live by the sword may die by the sword--though they may not. Those who live a life of peace and love may also die by the sword.