Originally Posted by awediot
Where does self defensive, counter violence fit in with the desire to turn the other cheek?
Please humour me awhile longer as this site implies some thought has been put in to this topic and I am truley curious, and a little confused as to how far Jesus intended passivity to go.
I think you first need to understand that distinction between Passivity and Pacifism. But I guess this is my understanding and interpretation.
Passivity is where you take no action. Pacifism is where you take action to prevent further violence, oppression or injustice. I have been in several situations where an "aggressive" response was necessary but a "violent" response would have been a different matter. For example I was going though down town on my rollerblades one night and when I was at a "shadowy" corner a man approached me and demanded my wallet. So told him I donít have one and all I had was my student ID and noted how I was only wearing "gym shorts" and had no place to keep a wallet or any money, at which point he grabbed me and tried to knock me down ... needless to say I am used to grinding some rails and jumping off some stairs so I didnít go down at that point he sucker punched me to the face. Now I know I could have smeared this guy, I should note I am a brown belt kick-box and spar several times a week, but instead I dropped him to the ground and landed a chest blow to knock the wind out of him and since it was a Friday the local police were out in force so I flagged a squad down and they took him into custody.
Or in the case of another would be mugger he pulled a knife on me and asked my money ... I told him I didnít have any but all I have is my check card he asked for that and I told him it would only take me 45 seconds to have it deactivated. I took the moment he began to ponder the situation to offered to walk with him over to the market and buy him some groceries and then we could go our separate ways... the great thing is I was able to share my love of God with him and why I would do this because I believe Jesus would do this. I saw him a few weeks later walking into a local mission and when I asked the director I learned a he, or a man fitting his description has a regular attendee and volunteer.
The point is when we are faced violence, oppression or injustice directed at us how will we respond? Will we return the violence, the oppression or the injustice or will we turn the other cheek where if the person persists in action they will be knowing we first offered them love and compassion.
But to discuss the issue of "gay bashing,Ē I will share a story only a few people know. At my high school there were a group of jocks who would play what they called the "brick game." The game involved driving past a gay establishment and throwing a brick and if you didnít hit something you had to go pick it up. I was with my boyfriend at the time at a coffee shop where gay students from the local schools would come on a Friday night as we were too young to go to the bars or clubs... suddenly I there was a "vroom" or a engine and the squeal of tires, next think I know I was looking at an EMT holding my head still, I had taken a rock to the head.
A few days later I was back at school and a few of the jocks made the connection I was the one who was hit and a few of them began to make fag comments. But later that day I was tutoring the diver who had been a friend of mine since I was young and he said "I'm sorry if I and know it was you I wouldnít have let them throw the rock." How should I respond to that ... should I turn him it, should I fight him, should I throw a rock next time I had a chance? I looked him in the eye and said "I know you threw the rock at a 'fag' but remember the next time you throw one you may not him me but you will hit someone like me who someone to someone like you." They never played their game again.
Now I am not trying to elevate myself. But I use that as an example, I could have completely wiped the street with the guy yet I choose the path of least continued violence. This is at the essence of turning the other cheek. But the key is how do you respond, does your response cause more of what you suffered or does it create more?
Pacifism does not demand justice Ö Pacifism creates peace Ö