Pope Francis, leader of many, has come out in defense of both the world’s youth and the practice of non-violence.
“Francis urged followers not to be like the innkeeper who refused a room to Mary and Joseph, but to help youth and provide opportunities.
In his 2017 peace message titled Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace, the Holy Father said, “When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking” (Malaysia Herald).
The thing is, if you were amongst the many that grew up in the age of hardcore that had abandoned the blistering youth crew tempo for a half time beat and heavy, yet harmonic guitars, and an opportunity for the lead singer to rally the crowd to their cause through a series of strategically placed fist-clenching & raising choruses.
No one capitalized on this atmosphere better than Earth Crisis, a hardcore band who delivered a message of veganism and abstinence from drugs , and did so in an aggressive manner. This subculture, the straight-edge movement, took up arms in their self-righteousness against all comers. This group, among others, incited the skinniest group of kids to believe they were invincible; hulk-like, and enjoyed carte blanche to act as goons – bullies who relished the mob mentality and environment.
This, of course, is in conflict with Francis, the Catholic Church, and people who are not jerks.
Earth Crisis, in their flagship song, “Firestorm”, calls for violence to combat violence;
“Street by street. Block by block. Taking it all back.
The youth’s immersed in poison–turn the tide
counterattack. Violence against violence, let the roundups begin.
A firestorm to purify the bane that society drowns in. No
mercy, no exceptions, a declaration of total war.
The innocents’ defense is the reason it’s waged for”.
Inflammatory rhetoric, for sure, but soaked in and lived by many, which was always evident through the violence that would transpire inside the confines of the circle at their shows.
In Matthew (26:52), after watching an ear be lopped off, Jesus says, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
So we are at quite the impasse; do we follow the words of a simple vicar of a micro culture, or do we follow Pope Francis, the successor to St. Peter, along with the words of Jesus to guide us through the decision of retribution?
You have to ask yourself, can you ignore the hooks of ‘Firestorm’? I must confess, it is a compelling vehicle of persuasion.
Peace be with you.
On Twitter: @ryandavidprice