Colorado, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, Iraq – just a few of the places mentioned by Shane Claiborne as having been tagged with recent violence.
Claiborne – activist, author and founder of The Simple Way community – spoke recently to EthicsDaily.com about violence. Claiborne’s interview, conducted via Skype a few days after the Aurora, Colo., shooting, is now live on Vimeo.
“As I look at Jesus, one of the things so strikingly consistent in his life is that he’s interrupting death and interrupting violence and hatred and exclusion and all this, over and over and over,” says Claiborne, mentioning that Philadelphia, where he lives, is averaging onehomicideaday in 2012.
Claiborne refers to Jesus disarming the men about to stone an adulterer, putting the severed ear back on the high priest’s servant after Peter had cut it off, and forgiving those who were crucifying him.
“That grace that we see in Jesus is something that our world is longing for,” says Claiborne.
He says he doesn’t know how to “make sense” of the shooting massacre in Aurora, but that “it can raise really important questions for us about, ‘How do we interrupt the patterns of violence?'”
“As I follow Jesus, I want to build a world with less violence and get at the root of what’s creating it,” says Claiborne, author of “The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical.”
“We have a responsibility to try to build a better world, a more sustainable world and a more sensitive world,” says Claiborne. “And unfortunately, I think a lot of the times that violence occurs, we ask questions after the violence. Like, how did that happen?”
“There is no better truth than the truth you hear in Jesus that says, ‘You pick up the sword, you’ll die by the sword,'” says Claiborne. “We’ve seen that pattern over and over and over, and so I think it’s high time that we begin to think about, What does the way of Christ call us to?”