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A look at ‘peaceful nonviolence’- Is deliberately getting yourself arrested or in other trouble with the law smart?

One of the standby tactics of the Christian liberal types is to deliberately get arrested or otherwise break the law in some form or other. The question is, is this tactic a very smart one or is it a tactic designed in a way that gets non-clergy into legal trouble that actually destroys the individual’s ability to continue being an activist for long? After all, having to fight to earn a living with a criminal record is not the easiest way to long term fund one’s own personal political activities, and many who have a spurious arrest record due to their ‘non-violent’ law breaking find it hard to make a living later on.

And then there is always the possibility that you will do jail time, too? That sweet little nun who crosses onto an air base or fort somewhere in the US a step or two will not be given the same lack of leniency that a young person not connected with the religious community will probably get. Her community service ‘sentence’ of a day or two down at the soup kitchen might be the young person’s $10,000 fine instead. A young civil disobedience advocate not connected to some religious order or other might easily end up serving half a year in jail or more instead of getting some sort of slap on the wrist probation, Like Father Padre or Pastor Quaker Oats might get.

Say you don’t pay taxes? Do you really think that Uncle ‘Pentagon’ Sam won’t come after you? You’ll pay for those not-paid taxes one way or the other make no mistake about it. ‘Peaceful nonviolence’ and deliberately getting arrested or in other trouble with the law is not particularly a smart way of fighting the government. Much better is to use some smarts about when, where, and how to go into battle against The System, rather than isolating yourself with these types of religiously motivated tactics that just get the individual victimized more than anything else. It is better to actually use tactics that lead to building and organizing a real Movement of The People, rather than use tactics that merely might make a newspaper headline or two as you go out and deliberately look to getting hit by a legal stick, or a policeman’s.

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