Friday, March 23, 2007

Christian Nonresisstance, Adin Ballou

Bio: Adin Ballou, the founder of the Utopian Hopedale Community in 1841, was also co-founder (with Wil­liam Lloyd Garrison) and president of the New Eng­land Non-Resistance Society. The selections here * are a clear and forceful statement on non-resistance in Gospel terms. As a thinker, Ballou’s writings in­fluenced the thought of Thoreau, Tolstoy and Gandhi.


"Whence originated the term Christian non­resistance? Non-resistance comes from the injunction, “resist not evil,” Matt. 5:39. The words “resist not,” being changed from the form of a verb to that of a substan­tive, give us non-resistance."

"It will appear from the foregoing exposition that a true Christian non-resistant cannot, with deliberate intent, knowledge or conscious voluntariness, compro mise his principles by either of the following acts.
1. He cannot kill, maim or otherwise absolutely injure any human being, in personal self-defense, or for the sake of his family, or any thing he holds dear.
2. He cannot participate in any lawless conspiracy, mob, riotous assembly, or disorderly combination of individuals, to cause or countenance the commission of any such absolute personal injury.
3. Je cannot he a member of any voluntary association, how ever orderly, respectable or allowable by law and general consent, which declaratively holds as fundamental truth, or claims as an essential right, or distinctly inculcates as sound doctrine, or ap proves as commendable in practice, war, capital punishment, or any other absolute personal injury.
4. He cannot be an officer or private, chaplain or retainer, in the army, navy or militia of any nation, state, or chieftain.
5. He cannot be an officer, elector, agent, legal prosecutor, pas sive constituent, or approver of any government, as a sworn or otherwise pledged supporter thereof, whose civil constitution and fundamental laws require, authorize or tolerate war, slavery, capital punishment, or the infliction of any absolute personal injury.
6. He cannot be a member of any chartered corporation or body politic, whose articles of compact oblige or authorize its official functionaries to resort for compulsory aid in the conducting of its affairs to a government of constitutional violence.
7. Finally, he cannot do any act, either in person or by proxy; nor abet or encourage any act in others; nor demand, petition for, request, advise or approve the doing of any act, by an individ ual, association or government, which act would inflict, threaten to inflict, or necessarily cause to be inflicted any absolute personal injury, as herein before defined."

No comments: