"The belief that violence ” saves” is so successful because it doesn’t seem to be mythic in the least. Violence simply appears to be the nature of things. It’s what works. It seems inevitable, the last and, often, the first resort in conflicts. If a god is what you turn to when all else fails, violence certainly functions as a god. What people overlook, then, is the religious character of violence. It demands from its devotees an absolute obedience- unto-death."
For the rest of this essay, see http://www2.goshen.edu/~joannab/women/wink99.pdf. If you want to read more, pick up a copy of his book The Powers that Be: Theology for a New Millenium.