"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1964
There is an alternative to the cycle of violence that is engulfing the world today and it is to be found with the shield of human rights that recognizes human dignity as its basis and the weapon of nonviolence. Nonviolence is not passive and often times requires an aggressive attitude but always needs a strategic vision in order to succeed. However at a time when our country is gripped by the culture of death it is important to recall some of the core ideas of nonviolence.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." - Jesus Christ, Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:38- 5:39
"Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak." - Mohandas Gandhi
“I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”- Martin Luther King Jr., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.
"If you fight with violence, you are fighting with your enemy’s best weapon and you may be a brave but dead hero."- Gene Sharp
"When you are a child of God... you try thereby to imitate Jesus, in the midst of evil. Which means, if someone slaps you on the one cheek, you turn the other cheek, which is an act of resistance. It means that you do not only love your neighbor, but you recognize that even the enemy has a spark of God in them, has been made in the image of God and therefore needs to be treated as you, yourself, want to be treated Jesus is very clear about this: "do unto others as you want others to do unto you." - which is a rather powerful ethic for personal relationships, regardless of whether family or school or community or nation." - Reverend James Lawson, preparing students for nonviolent action at an FOR workshop
"I say nonviolent struggle is armed struggle. And we have to take back that term from those advocates of violence who seek to justify with pretty words that kind of combat. Only with this type of struggle one fights with psychological weapons, social weapons, economic weapons and political weapons. And that this is ultimately more powerful against oppression, injustice and tyranny then violence." - Gene Sharp, 1990 at the National Conference on Nonviolent Sanctions and Defense in Boston
The cause of human rights is a single cause, just as the people of the world are a single people. The talk today is of globalization, but we must state that unless there is global solidarity, not only human rights but also the right to remain human will be jeopardized. - Oswaldo Paya, December 17, 2002
"The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard." - W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge (1944)