NO JESUS, NO PEACE.
KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE.
The above is a fairly popular and oh-so-clever Christian bumper sticker slogan. It is based on the title of a Christian self-help book by the shadowy author known as Two Seekers, entitled "No Jesus, No Peace-Know Jesus, Know Peace: Timeless Wisdom for Living a Life That Matters." Only the hubris of the American Christian sect seems to think that ol' Jesus isn't getting enough press as it is, and so they produce bumper stickers like this to advertise their faith, as though it were a product that you could purchase on your next trip to Sears, and not something deeply personal that should be confined to one's mind and home.
Let's do a bit of deconstruction, shall we?
NO JESUS, NO PEACE.
The first line implies that if you know Jesus, then you will know peace, directly in contradiction of all the violence and corruption perpetrated in Jesus' name. It implies that if you don't follow Jesus (or his teachings, in the least), then it is impossible for you to know peace. On par with just about every other Christian slogan, this completely leaves out those who seek peace on their own, as well as other religious (but not Christian) types, like Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and so forth. Basically anyone that doesn't consider themselves a Christian. The statement is vaguely threatening, and it openly mocks anyone who disagrees with it; are the people who produce this bumper sticker (and the author of the book from whence it came) really so ignorant? It's like those "God" billboards, as it, like them, presumes to prescribe a belief that is not universally held, and makes an attempt at forced philosophy. I mean, if you're in traffic behind a car with one of these stuck on the back, you can't help but read it and consider (however eye-rollingly) its message.
KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE.
The second line fervently tells us that
peace, and presumably harmony, love, and self-esteem, cannot be had without the intervention of Jesus. It seems to be saying that without Jesus, there would be only chaos, lawlessness, and war. It seems to ignore the fact that Jesus (and Christianity itself) has caused more wars than all other modern religions combined, and that more atrocities have been done in the name of Jesus than probably anyone else, ever. Since the time of Jesus, if he actually existed, no one else has had more people claim to speak for him and his best interests than crooked politicians, money-grubbers, and zealots. The very actions that started Christianity on its way to become a dominant religion were themselves acts of violence. (Granted, it was an act of violence perpetrated by the Romans, although that action along with the alleged resurrection seem to be the basis for the majority of Christian denominations' tenets.) How does that equal peace? I realize that this is not what Jesus intended to happen when he allegedly made all the statements that are generally agreed by scholars to have been correctly attributed to him. Still, though, it is undeniable that the consequences of his statements have been impossible to ignore, and their effect on modern Christianity has been significant.
Two Seekers (the book's author) is the responsible party behind the bumper stickers. On the subject, they had this to say:
NO JESUS, NO PEACE-KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE emphasizes the importance of everyday peacemakers. These "kitchen table peacemakers" can make a difference simply by calling an estranged loved one or helping a stranger in need. Through the teaching of Jesus, the authors ascertain certain principles that can guide one's life.
The book is divided into 22 aspects of Jesus' philosophy, each headed by an opening line of Scripture and followed by dialogue on the lessons Jesus teaches about how to lead a spiritually fulfilling life—as well as an exercise explaining how to text, making this uplifting book a perfect keepsake.
As is common with producers of religious literature, no distinction seems to be made between religiosity and spirituality. They could've got exactly the same message about peacemaking across without bringing Jesus into it, just by printing "KNOW PEACE" bumper stickers.
I have no idea what "explaining how to text" means; that was on the website for the book. (See URL below.)
In conclusion, they've got the right idea, but it seems to me that their hearts are in the wrong place. If they truly wanted to appeal to everybody with their message, they would've omitted the references to Christianity. As is the case with just about every other example of bumper sticker Christian philosophy, it fails to take into account that there are other people in the world besides Christians, and that is why it'll never be taken seriously by people who don't already "know Jesus." How many people will convert to Christianity after reading a bumper sticker?
Geting stuck in traffic in the Bible Belt.