And what has this gotten us? More anger. And no progress on justice at all.
History is replete with the failures of those who thought they could usher in justice with violence. The “war to end all wars” (World War I) demonstrated this foolish notion, as it ultimately brought about a far bloodier one: World War II.
There is a famous aphorism (often attributed to Gandhi) that “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I would add that Jesus’ showdown with Satan demonstrated that pride cannot drive out pride; only humility can do that. Jesus defeated Satan’s pride with humility and obedience: He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross (Phil 2:8).
A violent response that is not an act of self-defense just throws fuel on the fire and causes Satan to win.
This post is brief for two reasons: (1) I am traveling, and (2) I think Bishop Robert Barron expresses things better than I could in this moment of fresh wounds. The video below is his commentary on the 2008 movie The Dark Knight. Bishop Barron ponders the problem of violence and critiques the world’s notion of how to fight it. His message is still relevant today.