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The Power of Non-Violence Across History

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Davis Boos

5th Hour

The Power of Non-Violence across History

Jesus makes his message unbelievably clear through both his words and actions during his public ministry and life. Despite the clarity in which he relays the key commandment that is the epitome of the New Testament; the vast majority of Christians and the world do not accept it. Hopefully this rejection is not willful, but simply a case of ignorance and poor teaching. There are some cases though that clearly show people consciously rejecting the mantra of Jesus. Two different philosophers, nearly fourteen hundred years apart, both received this message of non-violence and love of enemies. Not only did both receive it, they truly lived, communicated, and expressed it. Saint Maximus devoted his later years to authoring books and essays that spread the message of Jesus in an intellectual and intimate way. Martin Luther King Junior is one of the best orators the world has ever seen; he shaped the hive mind of a society hell-bent on oppression since its birth. Through his awesome vocal masterpieces he reiterated the new commandment of love: "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).

King's sermon on love of enemies and Saint Maximus's teaching on non-violence unsurprisingly have many parallels. The difference lies in the way Maximus's writing is focused, he presents a concise piece outlying the tenants of living a Christ-like life. King, on the other hand, relates these same topics to many off shooting ideas that align with his political and social concerns at the time. This is not a bad thing, it is rather good actually; since King is much more modern than Maximus, but they share the same principle beliefs the connection can be used to see Maximus's works in a modern light. Both men tell how Jesus commands us to love one another no matter the circumstance. King's speech is different in that it explains why and how we should go about loving our enemies. The why: "that hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe" (MLKjr). He explains that hate turns into more and stronger hate creating an infinite loop. The how: "In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self." King goes on further to explain that



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