Home » Posts tagged 'Civil disobedience'
Tag Archives: Civil disobedience
God is a Criminal
In Acts 12, when Peter is sitting in prison for having preached the Gospel. God sends an angel to free him from his chain, blind the eyes of the guards and open the gates. Now that’s serious criminality. If you have a friend in jail, you have to respect the legal procedures and hope that s/he is freed in court – you’re not allowed to send a supernatural being to crush some chains and doors. That’s not legal. That’s not obedient. Still, God does that. According to divine law, evangelism is not a crime. For the same reason, Jesus was crucified as a criminal even though He is sinless according to the divine law.
Thus, Christians aren’t supposed to follow the law at all time. If the law says that we cannot preach the Gospel, or that Jews should be killed, or that whites and blacks have to be separated, we have to disobey in order to be obedient to our Lord. This is why I have been a strong supporter of civil disobedience.
Recently, I have been forced to think a bit extra about this though, because of this blog post at Jesus Radicals. In it, some anonymous people write about how they took 200 sexist calendars from a local kiosk and replaced them with signs like “Misogyny is out of stock” and “The female body is not a commodity”. They also give some tips of how to rob stores effectively.
Several news media have written about the event and many thought that the post simply meant that Jesus Radicals is behind the crime, while they argue that it was sent to them anonymously and they just posted it to encourage debate. Putting that aside, is the action moral? Obviously, stealing is wrong both according to human law and divine law – “You shall not steal” is a command that is repeated both by Jesus (Mark 10:19) and Paul (Eph 4:28). But what is stealing then?
Shell vs Polar Bears
Yesterday, this lovely picture appeared in my Facebook feed. Around the world, polar bears occupy Shell’s gas stations in a desperate attempt to save their home. Not only is Shell melting the Arctic through their fueling of climate change, now they want to go there to dig for more oil, although the ecosystem is extremely vulnerable in the area and Shell’s rutines to avoid oil spills are insufficient.
Of course, polar bears aren’t allowed to occupy gas stations, so they got a bit of trouble with the police force (no polar bear who participated in the occupation depicted above got arrested though). I wrote a month ago about how Greenpeace stated at the Rio+20 fiasco that “we have to intensify civil disobedience” since the legal process to stop climate change s going far to slow. What does climate civil disobediance look like, you may have wondered. Polar bear occupation of gas stations is one example. Human occupation of oil ships is another:
Break the Law to Save the Climate!
The current global conference on sustainable development, Rio+20, is a fiasco. The draft text that’s being negotiated is extremely weak and lame, and at some points it’s even worse than the agreement at the first Rio conference on sustainable development 20 years ago. The NGOs represented at the conference say that ”the text as it stands is completely out of touch with reality”.
Boy, we’ve heard this story before, haven’t we? Many like to blame the UN at this point, but personally I think they do their job quite well – the leaders of Western countries, on the other hand, are out of control in their sinning behaviour. They cause the mess, and the poor countries will have to pay for it: