I’m not saying that the mesmerizing power of mimetic (imitative, reciprocal) violence has abated. It obviously hasn’t. What I am saying is that the rising voice of the "victim" is slowly destroying any ability to coronate our violence with the mantle of divinity. But without sacred violence’s ability to curtail mimetic violence we face the reality of apocalyptic violence. We have been undone from within. And it is the fault of the gospel.
In this light it might be instructive to revisit Jesus’ statement: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." I used to wonder about this remark. But again, the fruits of a non-sacrificial reading of the gospel clarify things. Christ is making the simple and profound observation of what happens when the lie of "sacrifice" is exposed. When the mechanism of scapegoating, which is responsible for the founding of our religions and cultures, is destroyed, that is, when "Satan falls from the sky like lightening", we are in the most precarious of places.
No longer does "the peace that this world gives", hold. The spell of "redemptive violence" has been broken. But that’s dangerously good news.
For the first time, we are at a place where we can existentially "see" the gospel holding out our only hope. We are at the place where narrow fundamentalist interpretations of the gospel, that at one time allowed us to feel soul-safe while accepting an essentially fatalistic view of the world, no longer hold. No longer are we able to have heaven in our pocket while staying blind to our complicity in sacred violence.
Anthropologist, Rene Girard, has said in his book, "Violence and the Sacred", "For the first time we are faced with the perfectly straight-forward, even scientifically calculable choice between total destruction and total renunciation of violence."
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. (John 14)