"in our name"?

Another discussion comment I want to remember, replying to the idea of "violence done in our name"...

I've heard that often an important part of gang initiation is committing some violent or criminal act. The initiate has to do it to be fully accepted. I suppose the reasoning is that once the new person engages in violence or crime with the gang, then they also are implicated and as guilty as the rest, and so are more closely bound, and less likely to resist or turn in other gang members in future occasions of violence. If any are guilty than all are guilty. They are one in a bond of violence.

Your words about complicity in state violence reminded me that more "legitimate" gangs use the same tactics as well. I always remembered Chesterton's description of it:

...In self-governing countries [the] coercion of criminals is a collective coercion. The abnormal person is theoretically thumped by a million fists and kicked by a million feet. If a man is flogged we all flogged him; if a man is hanged, we all hanged him. That is the only possible meaning of democracy...
But is that true of each of us, simply because we happened to be born into a democracy? I think that's what those in power want us to believe, that their violence is our violence, that we are all guilty together. They want us to participate in the political system, even to try to change it, because then when they win, again, "fair and square," they can say they are our legitimate representatives, that their actions and their violence are ours. That if any are guilty then we are all guilty together.

This seems to me to be quite a vicious lie. One that seems to be accepted, though, without question by almost everyone (since we have all been indoctrinated into the myth of "democracy"?). I've made an effort to help free my friends of such a guilt-inducing ideology of complicity, by which you can be implicated in violence by the mere fact of your birth (or the color of your skin). And there's no possible way out.

That's not what Jesus taught or showed us. He showed us that there is real freedom, and that we can be nonviolent without hypocrisy (even as a male in a patriarchal society). Please don't believe the lies of unintentional complicity. And don't let it condemn you and turn you from the uncompromising path of nonviolence that Jesus showed us.