What does it really mean to stand up for life in a violent world?

I just finished a riveting action/ crime novel, and it was a page-turner: The main character is a bodyguard, protecting a lottery winner. 7 people get killed in the story. 5 characters are personally responsible for at least one of the seven deaths. 3 of the 5 killers also get killed in the story.

Of course, the reason the bodyguards are the good guys is that they kill people who killed before, or who showed a willingness to kill. On one level, I understand that reasoning.

But if you always manage to kill the potential threats before they kill your charge, are you not more murderous than they? After all, you were quicker than them to choose killing over other options. How willing can you be to kill anyone who vaguely looks like a threat – and still be rightly regarded as a protector, instead of a murderer? Is the satisfaction we find in stories like these perhaps symptomatic of wanting to justify the murderous part in our own hearts?

Should we really read a book like that, or watch a movie like that, with mindless enjoyment? Or is it a time to examine our own hearts for violent intent?

I don’t know. What I do know is this: People who label themselves “pro-life” because they want to make abortion illegal, but who ask no questions about the condoning of violence in stories or pornography, about war, about affordable medical care for all, about taking in refugees from violent countries, about the death penalty, cheapen the term pro-life.

What do you think? If you ever thought about when it is right to kill, please drop us a comment. What do violent stories say about us who enjoy it? What conclusion did you come to?


About Retha Faurie

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
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1 Response to What does it really mean to stand up for life in a violent world?

  1. The pro-life and pro-choice terms were invented to describe each side in their own terms. I think it is true that in terms of only abortion, the former would be better described as anti-abortion, but many people in this group also are concerned about potential of death for other types of disadvantage people, such as the old, the infirm, the mentally challenged, etc. so they chose the more inclusive term. And of course the pro-choice side did not want to be called pro-abortion, but that is what their term ultimately means, so it is a euphemism.

    But then the pro-life term can be challenged by those that want it extended even further. I think this is valid to discuss, but I do not think it is really a valid dink. People can decide where and how much to work for their ways to better the world and everyone needs to make their own boundaries about that. Just because a group has a specific focus does not necessarily mean they should expand that focus or change its focus. Of course, any person is free to join any group they wish. I do not think anyone claiming to be pro-life does not cheapen the term by declining to do other things that others might see as also relevant. The pro-life groups defined their boundaries and can choose to keep them as they are.

    In my understanding of Scripture, a believe is to act to preserve life. In some cases, this can mean taking life, in order to prevent further loss of life.

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