Friday, September 05, 2008


A make-my-day kind of day in Texas

Turn the other cheek, Jesus said. Your own. Not your wife's. Not your husband's. Not your kids'. Not your family's. Just your own.

Texas couple subdues intruders, secures their own premises.

Good on 'em.


This was on the front page of our paper. When I saw that, I knew I was back in God's country.
Id just like to opoint out, that inaddition to the first mistake of breaking into a family home to do violence and steal stuff...

The burglers also made the typically American mistake of viewing guns as magic boom-sticks that make them invulnerable and all-powerful.

Clearly, we see from this that a gun is only as useful as the person holding it, and the person armed with bravery, and mental preperation is armed all the time.

Get a gun, or don't get a gun...but whatever you do , get training. That's my preachy take on the subject.
Actually, ER, Jesus did say that if a man takes your coat, give him your shoes as well.

If a person owns a gun and has not been trained on how to use it, it's like handing car keys over to my eleven year old. Guns don't kill people, stupid people with guns kill people.
What type of idiots are going into burglary these days? Incompetent criminals -- the old rule used to be that you made sure the house was empty if you were going to do a smash and grab. I'll take this as evolution in action -- dumb people being nice enough to remove themselves from the gene pool.

I do hope the family gets some counseling to help deal with the after effects. It can years to start feeling safe again after a home invasion. That type of experience definitely puts them at all risk of PTSD.
Re, "Jesus did say that if a man takes your coat, give him your shoes as well."

Well, yeah. But not your wife, or your kids.

BTW, y'all should be proud. When Texas started requiring gun safety instruction in order to get a hunting license, I was well old enough to be grandfathered in, but I took thje course anyway. And now, it's been so long since I've handled any firearm, I'd go through one again if I planned on going hunting.
Oh, hey Skins, welcome home. Ish.
With zero desire to start an argument - true! - I would point out that by following your argument, ER, one would therefore render all the other ethical options Jesus offers moot. In essence, you are saying that using violence to defend others is acceptable; it is only in self-preservation that Jesus insisted we are to desist. So, the early Christians who stood by, refusing to recant even as the Romans slaughtered their families - they were a bunch of pussies who didn't understand what Jesus was talking about?
Once upon a time I was taught how to disarm and kill someone with a gun on me (among lots of other things, "RA all they way!"). We trained so long that the actions became automatic.

Then about six years latter, after spending the entire day getting my Corvair Van to run (enough to make any Christian mean and vile), I went to my wife's school where she taught to pick her up. Walking down the hallway in my greasy clothes with very long shaggy locks and a mustache some dumb high school kid reached up behind me and yanked my hair.

When I came to my senses I was hold the kid two feet off the ground against the wall and was ready to deliver a death blow to the face. I didn't, but I did have to up my VA counselor's visits from once a week to twice for several months.

Magic broom sticks: you can stop any gun from being fired, or fired at you if you know how. These days, 40 years and 200 extra pound later, I have no doubt if I tried to use my former skills I would hurt myself more than the assailant. I could do much better by just FALLING on them, or throwing up in their face.

GKS is correct, Christian's who would sacrifice their families for the honor or testimony of Christ didn't get it right at all. Indeed, like many today, including some very public figures, they figured the world was coming to an end like real soon anyway so it wasn't much of a sacrifice after all.

Kudos to those who by any means protect their own, and Grace to those who do the same for a stranger.
Geoffrey, I'd say they stood by and watched the slaughter of fellow believers in the face of the incredible, overpowering power of Rome. Not pussies. Helpless to do anything but commit suicide by resisting.

And, actuallym I am saying exactly this!

"Using violence to defend others is acceptable; it is only in self-preservation that Jesus insisted we are to desist."
I just reread this, and I don't understand how it fits the scenario, and so my comment above doesn't fit either:

"So, the early Christians who stood by, refusing to recant even as the Romans slaughtered their families - they were a bunch of pussies who didn't understand what Jesus was talking about?"
But, I do mean that violence used in defense of others is righteous violence. Like most things, violence itself is neither good nor bad; it depends on what use it is put to.
"Righteous violence" is like a "just war" it is nothing more than an oxymoron, or at best very Jehova.
This is the toughest thing to explain to my students and my children.

I get a lot of questions about "when is it OK to hit someone, or kick someone", etc.

The boiled-down meme that I've found is best remembered, and easiest to apply when talking about martial arts ethics is "Violence is never OK, but sometimes it is necessary".

If you hurt another person...even if you have no other feel it is wrong.

Well, some people don't but that's another story. Most people who have to cause harm in self-defense feel remorse.

The reservations we have are there for a reason, and dealing with them afterwards sucks, but it is better than being dead, or having some other innocent dead.
I do not believe that violence against another human being is ever right in the eyes of God. For any reason. It betrays the fundamental challenge of the cross - we all stand before it equally judged, convicted, and condemned. It also betrays the fundamental promise of the empty tomb - we are all now the chosen people of God, loved and saved and offered hope. Facing someone meaning to do violence to someone we love, and justifying it with the notion of "righteous violence" betrays everything Jesus taught, suffered, died, and was raised for.

This does not mean I would allow some psycho to butcher my family. It only means I would not pretend that God would think it was OK. I would die before I would allow someone to harm my family; if necessary, I would kill. I would never - EVER - under any circumstances justify it by calling such an act "righteous".
Teresa, the realities of power are not to be dismissed lightly. Yet, the simple option given many Christians in these circumstances was this - recant, deny the God of Jesus Christ, accept the hegemony of the official Imperial gods, and pay a fine. Maybe spend a few years as a slave. By Roman standards pretty lenient.

There are volumes of testimony of Christians who faced such ordeals and watched as Roman soldiers killed their children, their spouses, their parents - all the time refusing to deny the God who raised Jesus from the dead. They did not have to do violence. Shoot, all they had to do was say something, a "something" everyone around would recognize was coerced and therefore meaningless. Yet, they did so, because they did not see the death meted out by the Roman Imperium as final. They did not fear death because they believed that Jesus had defeated death once and for all. Their courage was proof of the power of the cross and resurrection.

I'm not sure how your response relates to my statements on this thread.

Im sorry I don't have a response for you. Iw as only trying to address specifically the question of wether or ot ther is such a thing as "rightous violence", that my answer is "no", there's not...but that doesnt mean a person should stand idly by when action will improve the situation.

The Christian stuff is interesting, but I'm not sure how it applies to my statements.
When Jesus did violence to the moneychangers in the temple, was that righteous?

When, in the story, the spirit was sent into the herd of swine, which then plunged to a violent death, was that righteous?

They are few and far between, but there are examples of righteous violence in our tradition. The Cross itself is an act of righteous violence.
Teresa, remember there are several conversations going on here. GKS, I'm sure is respoding to both of us.
Interesting idea. Since I do not consider myself "righteous," I imagine that none of my violence would be, either.
I think that there is a difficulty in trying to deign right from wrong using only, or primarily, dogma. These types of discussions exemplify that difficulty.
Using catma isn't much better.

Serious, as with most everything else, I rely on a mix of experiences and influences to try to muddle through to a conclusion on a tough question.

Upbringing. Conscience. Scripture. Knowledge of history. Personal experience. Fluid interpretations of all.
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