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What About Turning the Other Cheek? - The Ornery American


What About Turning the Other Cheek?
September 11, 2001

Can We Win This War?

Was This Attack Unprovoked?

What About Turning the Other Cheek?

Some people say that America is a Christian nation. Some adamantly say that it is not. Those who say it is not don't have any issues here. But those who claim that our nation should be governed by Christian principles have to face the question of whether we are entitled to make war at all. Shouldn't we love our enemies? Shouldn't we do good to those who "despitefully use" us? Shouldn't we, having been struck on one cheek, meekly turn the other?

That Christian principle is not to be ignored. As individuals, we should bear even the unbearable in order to avoid harming others.

But what does a Christian do when someone else is being harmed? Is it Christian to turn the other cheek when someone else has been slapped? If you see a child being beaten, or an elderly person being robbed, is it Christian to stand aside and merely try to comfort the victim afterward, doing nothing to protect them?

There is nothing unChristian about attempting to protect others who cannot protect themselves.

Nations are, at core, large groups of people who have banded together and delegated to soldiers and police the responsibility for protecting the helpless. Having done this, the citizens who are not soldiers or police agree to willingly become helpless, depending on them for protection.

When we use those forces to harm innocent people, then we are surely to be condemned by God for those actions, for they act as we direct or permit them to act.

But when we ourselves are under attack, then it is not unChristian for our government to direct our military and police to act as necessary to protect those who are helpless or have made themselves helpless in the effort to create peace within our community.

Thus our police may arrest and punish violent criminals using whatever force is necessary to subdue them. If we do not give them that power, we in effect declare open season on our citizens.

Likewise, when a foreign power or foreign organization seeks to do violence against our citizens, it is the responsibility of good Christians in the military and government to take whatever actions are necessary to cause that hostile power to cease its attacks and make no more attacks in the future. This also includes stopping those who support and harbor those attackers.

It is not unChristian to protect your neighbor from another neighbor who is determined to do him harm.

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