The trouble with violence is that it changes not too much, but too little. Nonviolence is more radical because it is more truthful. Violence always ends up calling on lies to defend it, just as lies call on violence to defend them. By contrast, truth is naked, vulnerable as Christ, its only weapon Christ’s own, God’s love. So the very love of God that found oppression, poverty, and corruption intolerable, this same love, rather than inflict suffering – even on those imposing it on the poor – took suffering upon itself. What can only be said cynically of another – “It is better that one man should die than that an entire nation perish” (ah, the demands of national security!) – can be said in utter truthfulness about oneself: “It is better that I should die rather than a single other person perish.” That’s finally how truth disarms, and there is no better way.

From "Creedo" by William Sloane Coffin


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