Reader WKRO sent me this op ed from the Charlotte Observer by pastor Kate Murphy and I have been trying to digest it without having seizure.

Several weeks ago, in an attempt to be a good spouse, I watched the new Jack Reacher series now streaming on Amazon Prime. Like the movie starring Tom Cruise, the show is based on the wildly popular books by British author Jim Grant, who writes under the pen name Lee Child. The protagonist is an American man named Jack Reacher — he is strong and silent, skilled and smart. He’s handsome, brilliant and loves literature. He’s haunted by the violence he’s seen and the people he’s failed to save. He’s also funny and sensitive and gentle, when he’s not being heroically brutal. The series is incredibly well made, the acting is exceptional, the story is compelling, the violence is horrifying, the end seductively satisfying. I do not recommend it.

I hate how much I liked it.

Seems to me she enjoyed a bit too much and upon reflection, she felt guilty about it because…? Let’s keep reading.

Jack Reacher is the quintessential American hero. You can trust him. He selflessly risks his life to kill dangerous unredeemable people. A decorated former Marine, he is highly skilled and precisely targets his violence.

Wait one minute. Reacher is a retired US Army MP Major. Why do I get the feeling the Lady pastor was more concentrated in the musculature of the actor than the story or the plot?

He only hurts people who deserve it. He is a critical thinker with absolute control over his emotions, he is able to act without malice or bias. He is a white man with a Black best friend. He is humble and detached. He has no agenda other than to do what is right.

And you hate that? I do not track.

He is the archetype of a “good guy with a gun.” He is the myth of redemptive violence.

Sweet Jesus! Now I am having to decide if she even saw the show.  I saw it and there is a lot of eye candy for the ladies, but I also remember about half the violence that Reacher dispenses is without the use of a gun at all.

A myth is any story that explains a cultural phenomenon. The myth of redemptive violence is deeply embedded in Western culture and more American than apple pie. The myth of redemptive violence says that only violence can protect us from violence, so it is necessary that righteous and highly skilled people be permitted to discriminately use violence to protect the vulnerable. All violence is bad — except for the violence that stops violence — that violence is redemptive. That kind of violence is a happy ending.

OK, I had to look up the meaning of redemptive violence and I found this:

The story that the rulers of domination societies told each other and their subordinates is what we today might call the Myth of Redemptive Violence. It enshrines the belief that violence saves, that war brings peace, that might makes right.

So what is the problem with the statement above? Several issues actually. First the phrase the “rulers of domination societies” insinuates only those ugly dictatorial or quasi-dictatorial regimes inflict violence for their purposes (which obviously exonerates what they consider non-domination societies from any culpability when they use violence.)  Next is Violence does indeed save lives, but for them they only see violence as a tool to support evil, not fight it. This is very common in people that have not truly been victims of violence and paid the price for not being able to return it.

War is violence write very large. We can wage war against an innocent country or wage war against the attacker us doing some ethnic cleansing in a territory it wishes to occupy or simply does not like the people there. That this op-ed came out just a couple of days before Memorial Day when we commemorate those who fell in the name of our Country and the Freedom it stands for by accusing them the Peace they bought with their lives was wrong is simply a demonstration of purposeful ignorance.

And then, of course, she twists the conversation into Gun Control and loses the argument.

If you believe in the myth of redemptive violence, the answer is always more guns — because only violence is powerful enough to stop violence. The world is so dangerous and evil that only someone like Jack Reacher can save us, so we can’t take his weapons away from him. The myth of redemptive violence says our only hope is more good guys with guns, more Jack Reachers.

Lessons on gun violence from Jack Reacher, my Christian faith | Charlotte Observer

After all the high-moral spiel, she only confines those evil sentiments to “gun violence.” Again, Reacher keeps beating the living hell out and killing people in the show with his hands and other weapons and that is OK, but the moment he uses a gun, the morality of killing and use of violence flips into the negative field. Of course, the dead do not know the difference.

To summarize Pastor Murphy’s position, if you strangle a kid, bash somebody over the head with a hammer, stab your significant other or poison a family is not even closely as bad as if you put a slug in somebody’s leg for trying to kill you. That is some seriously sick way to see Evil.

But that is Pacifism and Pacifist for you: Talk a good game and do shit to stop Evil.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

14 thoughts on “the myth of redemptive violence”
  1. “We JUSTneed to teach men not to rape”… remember that? More hand ringing drivel. Ones like this dont get it until they get punched in the face. My parents had friends , HE was a great guy married to this shiite-liberal who one day started in on my dad about firearms. Really nasty to him. Then something started killing and eating all her prized exotic birds… guess who she called, yup, my dad. Guess what he did, yup, nothing. Told her she was on her own, buy a gun.. evil will expand until it gets smote

  2. There needs to be a term for the fallacy that everyone can be reasoned with or dissuaded from a course of action with simple words.

    “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” –Alfred (Michael Caine) in ‘The Dark Knight’

    1. A lot of criminals are criminals because they like being criminals. They get off on the fear they get from normal people. They love taking people’s things. To show off their ill gotten gains.

  3. Yet another example, as you noted, that death from a bullet is many times worse than death by any other means. Sigh.

  4. Even though I’m an agnostic, I can see the lady needs to spend some time studying the Bible. Luke 22:36 would be a good starting point; there are plenty of others.

  5. Someone needs to sit the pastor down with a dictionary and a highlighter. She needs to learn the difference between aggression and violence.

  6. Pacifism is like Socialism. It sounds good when you talk about it with like minded folks – it sounds ideal, and morally elevated, but it doesn’t hold up under real world pressure. It fails to produce a positive outcome.

    “Violence never solves anything”. Sure it does…it has resolved every world conflict in history.

    I enjoyed the show, but it did have its issues. It’s not just this show, but almost all like it – the body count gets pretty high, and there is no discussion on accountability for all the dead. Reacher just blows out of town.

    1. I once slapped down the local weekly newspaper editor, a WW2 vet no less, when he said “violence never solves anything”. I pointed out that Hitler might disagree with that. He did have the decency to print my letter, something unlikely to be seen nowadays.

  7. ah, i understand this phylum of insurgency. pastor Kate Murphy must be of the PCUSA variety of Presbyterians, and a statist. All violence must flow from the state; it is grossly immoral for individuals to engage in action, no matter how moral the objective is, to engage in corrective measures. ignore this species.

  8. As Orwell is paraphrased as saying ““People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” 90 percent of pacifists are just parasites and cowards. The other 10% are evil and delusional.

    Never forget what Ghandi said about the Jews in WWII: “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. As it is, they succumbed anyway in their millions.” And his advice to Britain: “This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing; if you persist, it will only result in greater bloodshed. Hitler is not a bad man.” and ““Let them take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds.” That’s the moronic thinking of the pacifist.

    There are three sources of authority in Christianity: Scripture, The Holy Spirit, and the Apostolic tradition. Neither scripture nor the apostolic tradition support total pacifism (though they support avoidance of violence, which is different). Jesus did not tell the Centurion to set down his arms. He told His followers to carry swords.. The Holy Spirit tells us about individual responses to specific challenges in life, but He does not dictate doctrine, and there is no evidence that the Holy Spirit argues for pacifism in the large.

    If you want to see the future for the US, the “Cristero War” might be the history to read.

    Jesus believed in justice and peace. As woke cities are finding, you cannot have justice or peace, even compassionate justice, without enforcement. You cannot have enforcement without coercion You cannot have coercion without violence.

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