Monday, May 3, 2010

The Limits of Pacifism

It’s stories like this one that lead me to occasionally question just how much I would be willing to tolerate in the name of peace. God placed limits on the legitimate vengeance of the ancient Jews. “An eye for an eye” meant that the response had to be proportional to the offense. It was an explicit repudiation of the philosophy espoused by Sean Connery’s character in The Untouchables: “If he puts one of yours in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue!”

Jesus came along and seemed to reject even the proportional response, exhorting his followers to “turn the other cheek” and “pray for your enemies.” All well and good, as long as all that your enemy wants to do is give you a wicked cross-face. However, in the face of what happened to this barber in Pakistan (follow the link above for details), I think that I might “aim to misbehave” in the fashion of Captain Malcolm Reynolds.

It’s one thing to let somebody knock your head around a bit. It’s another thing entirely when they intend to break both of your legs and gang-rape you. Now imagine that it’s not you, but someone you love (a parent, a spouse, or a child) that’s on the receiving end. Still feel like pacifism is the answer?

Yes, vengeance belongs to the Lord; but in such a circumstance, I would try awfully hard to be His tool.

1 comment:

日月神教-任我行 said...
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