Lies beget violence. Lies have consequences.
We saw this on January 6 live in our living rooms. The insurrection was a response to a “Big Lie” and many have been the lies of some media and politicians telling us what a minor infraction that was ever since.
And we see it in today’s political scene including the recent violence against the 82 year-old husband of Nancy Pelosi in their home in San Francisco.
The perpetrator of that violence tells us that he was deeply affected by January 6 and its violence. We are told that on entering Pelosi’s home, he was shouting, “Where is Nancy Pelosi?” just as were the invaders of the nation’s capitol on January 6.
What is violence? Interestingly, the word in English comes from the Latin word vis which means strength. It is related to the word vim therefore and means strength or vigor or “robust energy and enthusiasm.” Vigorous action, “carried through forcefully and energetically” according to Webster’s dictionary. “Vim and vigor” is a familiar phrase in our language.
Violence is employing our strength and energy, vim and vigor, to harm others, to force others, even to desecrate, attack, cause extreme and intense pain on others.
It is not acedia understood as a lack of energy to begin new things, but its blunt opposite: Energy to do extreme harm and to violate (as in rape).
One feels violated when hearing of the invasion of the home of the second person in line for the presidency (following on the vice president). Hers is a very public office after all.
Lies beget violence and violence begets more violence.
All those politicians, media personalities and media barons who have belittled the January 6 insurrection and its violence are part and parcel of the violence that is ensuing. Until they repent and admit how dangerous their silence or embracing of lies and violence truly are, they are genuinely part of the problem.
Silence about violence begets violence.
And mis-naming violence begets violence.
All this is on the ballot in the upcoming mid-term elections—lies and truths, violence and non-violence.
See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. xx, 166-171, 253, 262f., 275-277.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Sarah Palin poster: “Enrage them with fear until they feel justified in their violence” by Eddie Colla 106. Photo by Steve Rhodes on Flickr
Queries for Contemplation
Consider non-violence as an alternative to violence. Truth as an alternative to lies. Breathe in both, breathe out both. Breathe in Truth and breathe out Lies. Breathe in Violence and breathe out non-violence.
Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science. A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics