One thing about being Mennonite: It offers clarity. Violence is the wrong answer, always, no matter the question.
I’m a quasi-lapsed, quasi-worshipful Mennonite these days. It’s complicated. And it complicates how I’m viewing the events in Charlottesville and its aftermath.
See, I’m not a fan of the billy-club wielding “antifa” crews. And I strongly suspect that folks who rely on violence to advance their ideology are in pretty big danger of becoming “fa” sooner or later, no matter how they describe themselves.
I’m also having a hard time getting as angry about the antifa folks as I am about the Nazis who used lethal violence in the name of white supremacy.
Motives matter. We have a billion different ways of judging wrongful deaths based on the motivations of the killer. (Neglect will get you a few years in prison; heat of the moment anger a few years more; something judged a “hate” crime can get you sent away even longer.) But … they don’t for Mennonites.
Violence is violence is violence, and violence is wrong. But I’m having trouble condemning all of it with equal fervor.
This troubles me.