The Ayers of Christian Redemption

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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The Ayers of Christian Redemption

American values are crossing swords in the 2008 Election for President of the United States.  Conflicting values are not unusual.  Actually, conflicting values come our way every day.  Such is the nature of ethics.  One such conflict is apparent in the redemption of former Weatherman Bill Ayers.  The social turmoil of the 1960′s continues to haunt America.

We live in a country that is predominantly Christian.  That means something to real Christians.  Real Christians accept the consequences of their belief system.  They understand the difficulty of passing through the eye of the needle.

This writer is amused at the critical judgment of new found Christians.  We are a child of the 1960′s – and so are a bunch of the Christian fundamentalists.  They don’t want to talk about what they were doing back in the day.  If they do, they frame their past in the context of Christian Redemption.  “I was a bad boy but Jesus saved me.”  – That sort of thing.

Bill Ayers committed acts of violence against the United States of America.  But the more appropriate context is historical.  Bill Ayers committed acts of violence against a government that was not itself being honorable.  But Bill Ayers crossed the line.  The civil disobedience of the 1960′s was based on non-violence.  This writer believed then, and continues to believe today, that Americans have the duty of civil disobedience. This right, this duty, is written into the Constitution – the Bill of Rights calls us to speak against wrong, to assemble, to challenge government that is unethical.

Rosa Parks is the best example of a common person raising up against a dishonorable government.  Ms. Parks sat on a bus and refused to give up her seat to a white person.  She was disobedient to the law, but she was civil.  Martin Luther King and Ghandi were each successful in their disobedience to the law – because they remained civil.

Bill Ayers continues to believe today, as does this writer, that his cause was honorable. But again, Bill Ayers crossed the line from civil to violent.  One of the fundamental concepts of the United States is the non-violent transition of power.  Simply put, we revolt in the ballot box.  We organize, we petition, we campaign for right – we use the rights granted by our Founding Fathers to effect change.

Most of us get the point of civil disobedience.  The question for this post is one of Redemption. Redemption comes in many theological forms – especially in Abrahamic faiths such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  In most cases redemption requires the admission of guilt.  Bill Ayers continues to believe in his cause, if not his tactics.  Wikipedia has a direct quote from Ayers:

Ayers was asked in a January 2004 interview, “How do you feel about what you did? Would you do it again under similar circumstances?” He replied:[25] “I’ve thought about this a lot. Being almost 60, it’s impossible to not have lots and lots of regrets about lots and lots of things, but the question of did we do something that was horrendous, awful? … I don’t think so. I think what we did was to respond to a situation that was unconscionable.” On September 9, 2008, journalist Jake Tapper reported on the comic strip in Bill Ayers’s blog explaining the soundbite: “The one thing I don’t regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being…. When I say, ‘We didn’t do enough,’ a lot of people rush to think, ‘That must mean, “We didn’t bomb enough shit.”‘ But that’s not the point at all. It’s not a tactical statement, it’s an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, ‘we’ means ‘everyone.’”

Was Bill Ayers sinful?  Has Bill Ayers confessed his sins?  We cannot say.  “From the fruit you will know the vine.”  The fruit of Bill Ayers life is violent protest followed by stunning commitment to better education for children. Ayers life will be judged by someone with a ‘higher pay grade’ than this writer.

The sad state of political life today is reflected in the mentality and rhetoric of sound bites.  We believe people should be informed voters.  If we are fired up about someone like Bill Ayers then we should educate ourselves.  We have a duty to ourselves to learn the facts. We have a duty to our country to vote – and to be an informed voter.

The people who use Bill Ayers as a fear tactic to discourage voting for Obama are not Christians – they are engaged in the Dark Arts.

See: The Criminal Paradigm, Fiddling Around On The Roof

Also: Fear and Faith, Vote Obama and Go to Hell

Ayers on teaching:

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There Are 15 Responses So Far. »

  1. I have read previous posts on this blog and understand your position on rehabilitation, or redemption as you say in this post. I myself am a firm believer that people can be rehabilitated. However, there have never been any consequences for Bill Ayers’ actions and he does not appear to be repentant in any way. He is also a very intelligent person who has refined his ways over the years and is not going to come out with outrageous statements that will shake up his life and career. He has the ability to speak around the subject without offending too many people, but he does not appoligize. His cause may have been honorable, and even that can be argued, but his actions do not reflect what he claims to be his values. That is insane. To bring it to a modern day context, it is like an abortion protester blowing up an abortion clinic because they believe in the right to life. It makes no sense.

  2. I, as a Christian, cannot condemn this man nor any other. What I will do is pray for him and, if given the opportunity, tell him about Jesus. I believe that the Bible is indeed the inspired Word of God and in it true Chistians are commanded as Jesus Himself said in Mathew 28:

    19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” NKJV

    It saddens me greatly that Christians have lost their focus–the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. There is far too much time spent on politics on “Christian” websites and radio and not enough spent on teaching the Word of God.

  3. 5 words:
    Separation of Church and State.

  4. Some of you young folks should have been around in the 1960′s. It was a very turbulent time. Assassinations of the liberal left, two Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. – 500,000 American soldiers in Vietnam – 300 killed every week. Candidates for President were openly segregationist. The KKK had free reign of the south. Church bombings that killed innocent black children. Murderous rampages by racist criminals went unanswered by authorities. Police instigated riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. National Guard troops fired on and killed unarmed students at Kent State. Anyone who raised a question was called “Communist.”

    When Martin Luther King was honored with a national holiday some said, “Kill four more and take the whole week off.”

    No one who lived in that time came away unscathed. All of us own some sort of lunacy – because it was a lunatic time.

    Bill Ayers has disavowed his tactics, but he has not disavowed his cause.

  5. I was around in the 60′s and there were a lot of “groups” around. The SLE kidnapped Patty Hearst before they all burned up in a house fire during a police raid. The Nat’l Guard at Kent State did worse things than the Weather Underground. The Vietnam war was hideous as is the Iraq invasion. Real Americans don’t stand idly by and let the war mongers kill and pillage. Let up on Bill Ayers.

  6. So it’s ok to beget violence with violence. Well at least we know that Timothy McVeigh was a fine upstanding citizen doing what he thought was right regardless that he killed 168 innocent people. He thought the government was wrong as well. To stand up for these people is a slap in the face for the U.S. Military and everything they stand for. Heck we should all just bomb something when we don’t agree. Heck, Osama Bin Laden must be a great guy also, he is standing firm in his beliefs he is just misunderstood. Let’s not forget Ted Kaczynski, he was against the governement as well. Apparently to be American is to be anarchist. I have no sympathy for any of these pigs.

  7. You think that the “young people” of today don’t understand turmoil? I understand that the 60′s were a different kind of turmoil, but we are in the midst of an economic crisis as well as a war that many of us do not believe in. There are Amber alerts everyday on the highways and televisions. I am afraid for my children. Not just for their future, but literally afraid to let them leave my sight and protection. We live next to a beautiful parkway walking path that my children cannot walk alone because women have been attacked and raped along these paths. But the “young people” who disagree with the government do not terrorize others to make their points and if they do I would fully expect them to have to pay the consequences of such actions. I consider myself to be a compassionate person, as would most who know me, but I want peace within my country just as badly as in any other. Please do not insult us by assuming that because we did not live in the same era as the “old people” on this blog we could not possibly understand.

  8. I t is quite obvious that the Palin/McCain ticket has been effective in stirring the pot of hatred and bitterness. They do this in the name of a unified America. This was what Congressman John Lewis warned against – but McCain just slammed him too. The only blessing is that the people will vote, Obama will win, and McCain will have to live with himself.

    And it will take years to put the genie back in the bottle.

  9. I am a practicing Buddhist, and I’m thrilled to see a blog like this. What always strikes me in my conversations with Christian, Hindu, and Muslim friends is how much, at their cores, free of semantics, our belief systems have in common–concern for the well being of others, examining our own actions and motives before we judge the actions or motives of others, the recognition of the sacredness of all humanity, and the encouragement of our always flawed attempts to act with compassion, to follow, as Christians call it, the golden rule. How has all this been lost in the modern world? The realm of the spirit, the recognition of something larger than ourselves and sacred, should bring us closer together instead of being hijacked for political means and used to vilify. This forum is a breath of fresh air. Good luck.

  10. [...] We live in a country that is predominantly Christian.  That means something to real Christians.  Real Christians accept the consequences of their belief system.  They understand the difficulty of passing through the eye of the needle. Read the full post [...]

  11. In the Gospel of John, some men brought a woman to Jesus of Nazareth. They told him that she was caught red-handed in adultery. Now, according to the Law of Moses, the Torah, she should be stoned to death. Jesus pretended as if he was not listening; he was writing in the sand. We still do not know what he wrote. When he finally raised his head he asked those who accused the women: “If thee is any among you who is without sin should cast the first stone”. The accusers left the scene one by one. Jesus turned to the woman and asked her: “Where are your accusers?” She answered that they have all left. That means none of them was without sin. Then said Jesus: “Go and sin no more”. There are two hermeneutical approaches to these words of the Lord. The first tends to emphasize only the “Go” – the unconditional forgiveness as a license to be immoral. The second emphasizes “sin no more”, as if it is possible for a human being not to sin any more. Of course, Jesus means adultery. One sad aspect of this story is the absence of the man who either raped or seduced the woman. Jesus saw this moral ambiguity. Whether this story goes back to Jesus himself or not, it clearly reflects His spirit of love and compassion. Isn’t it astonishing that Palin and her disciples believe that God has forgiven her under-aged daughter for committing “fornication” (fundamentalists’ sin against the Holy Spirit), but the same God cannot and will not FORGIVE Mr. Ayer. Yes, bastardisation of moral discourse. Lord Jesus, forgive those who HATE and preach HATE and DIVISION in your holy Name!

  12. The ONLY difference between Bill Ayers and Tim McVeigh is competence. Ayers should have been gassed years ago.

  13. Some people should go back and read the post again. This post is not a defense of The Weathermen. This is a post about Christian Redemption. This is a post about unity – not further divisiveness. The responses in the comments solidify the the belief that McCain and Palin are all about hate and division. Multiply this hate around the world in foreign policy, the idea is too much to bear. McCain and Palin actually encourage the ideology of McVeigh.

    This is the “United” States of America.

  14. Since theology and McCain have been introduced to this topic, it is fair to say this applies to McCain and Palin. In Luke23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots

  15. They want to be President and Vice President – if they know not what they do, then they are disqualified. If they spew venom and know what they are doing – then they are disqualified.

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