I think there are several issues here Rich. In this book Armstrong seems to be referring to the classic archaic sacred, the sacrificial mechanism which always temporarily brings social cohesion. I have not read this one but have read several others of hers and I don’t think that she sees violence in these terms. In any event, we create violence, it has nothing to do with God.
I don’t believe that God punishes, not does he seek to impose moral discipline. God is unconditional love and compassion. Christianity is an anthropology, not a morality. Morality is like technique on a musical instrument, it is the grounding that permits you to play music beautifully, it is a means, not an end. When we learn unconditional love, we are automatically moral beings. In other words if you really want to love God, you love your neighbour, because that is where we find God.
As to all of our occasional fits of road rage, or road impatience, I think Girard puts this perfectly in perspective……”“Everywhere and always, when human beings either cannot or dare not take their anger out on the thing that has caused it, they unconsciously search for substitutes, and more often than not they find them.”
? René Girard, The One by Whom Scandal Comes