29 May

Folks have a hard time trying to rationalize the “turn the other cheek” admonition with Jesus beating the bejesus out of the money changers, the guidance to sell your cloak and buy a sword, guidance that we are to obey government as lawfully ordered by God, the rubric to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, etc. etc. 

This is a fundamental and dangerous misunderstanding of the symbolism employed. Turning the other cheek is not a viable way to defend the innocent or even save your own life if threatened with grievous bodily harm or death. Instead, turning the other cheek is prescribed as a way to overcome our ego, to be willing to overlook insults to us personally, and as a way to see that we are so invested in our persona that another can disturb the tranquility of our mind with a humiliating gesture. 

It is NOT a prescription regarding how to respond when you, or innocent others, are genuinely threatened. The Creator has provided for every living creature the basic  instinct to survive. It may be proactively with fang, nail or stinger or passively with camouflage. Nowhere do we find in Nature a species that “turns the other cheek” when threatened with annihilation. If there ever was such a species, it is long gone by now. 

We have an absolute, God given moral right to defend ourselves, our loved ones and innocents to the full extent necessary to avoid harm…and that includes up to and including inflicting a mortal blow on another, if we did not instigate or aggravate the offense. We should try very hard to turn the other cheek when our ego is being bruised. But we should have no moral compunction about pulling a trigger if that is the sole resort to save ourselves or innocent others. 

Forget the idealism of what people “think” God intends. Look instead to the creation and the processes that go on within it. That will tell you all you need to know about the necessary, the desirable and the unavoidable. We remain supremely unconvinced the same Creator that has set entire galaxies in motion to be drawn into black holes and annihilated would find it impermissible to defend ourselves by any means necessary should circumstance demand such a response.

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