Nonviolence is no new idea. In 1849, Henry David Thoreau wrote on civil disobedience. It was his idea of noncooperation with evil that influenced both Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Even today, many of the nonviolence movements that have gained amazing success in bringing down hateful injustice have been framed around the idea, that if we refuse to cooperate with evil things, those things lose their power over us. I fully agree with this notion.
On smaller levels, noncooperation really means, as my old roommate, Thaddeus would say, not co-signing other people’s bullshit. It means not playing other people’s games when it is seen that the end result is unjust, immoral or wrong. It is a polite way of saying that I will not play along with your activities to demean, dehumanize or insult me. It can be as simple as just saying “no” to the bully who wants to call you names. It is as simple as not letting the names people call you effect you. As soon as you play along with the name calling you give it power. If you don’t react or cooperate with the name calling, it loses it power. You can call me perverse but it means nothing until I give it meaning. Gandhi’s famous words: No one can hurt you without your permission.
The same goes for these silly debates and challenges from people like DL Foster, who has challenged gay Christians to prove the “validity” of their relationships to Rev. Foster. As if we should justify our lives, our loves or our beliefs in god to him. I say, don’t play along with his game. Don’t co-sign his bullshit. Don’t empower him by playing along with him.
DL Writes on his new blog:
GCM Watch would like to issue a 7 day challenge any member of the gay christian movement to please submit a list of criteria whereby we may adequately judge the validity of homosexual relationships.
My first thought when I read this was, “Who died and left this man in a position to judge the validity of others?” The arrogance in this statement is just breath stopping, but it is our response to this should be based in the philosophy of Thoreau, Gandhi, and King. Just say “NO!”
Mel White, founder of the group Soulforce, said it best when he discussed ending the debate of the “validity” of our lives. He laid out 10 reasons why we should engage in noncooperation with this evil tactic of debating our lives, loves and beliefs. I am only selecting a few of them since some are more christian in nature and I have no desire to exclude those GLBT folks who have non-christian beliefs.
Rev. White follows this statements with a very important notion, it is time to end the debate over the validity, morality or humanity of our lives. DL Foster is not the judge of us. He only has the power to judge the validity of us, if we give him that power. By not cooperating with his challenge or anyone else’s, we take away the power to judge us or the validity of our relationships.
Let DL Foster make his challenges, but they only have the power we give him. I would hope by not sending him a list of criteria it sends the message to him that we will not be cooperating with this evil.
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
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