Monday, February 15, 2016

Foreign Policy, God...and Ultrarunning

Seen somewhere recently on the Internet, but I forget where:

"I'm starting to suspect that the only strategy we have in Syria is to give weapons to random people and see what happens."

Thinking in the larger sense about warfare and conflict, I have always wondered why evangelical Christian politicians--who sometimes cherry pick and interpret quite literally certain biblical passages to justify a particular position--do not then take equally literally Jesus' words about turning the other cheek when you are attacked.  Just wondering.

The exact Biblical quote from Matthew 5:38-40New International Version (NIV):

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

I'm not a Biblical scholar, but when I read up more on this, the gist of the school of thought that says "We can't really be literal about this one" is can be summarized thusly:

To "turn the other cheek," does not imply pacifism, nor does it mean we place ourselves or others in mortal danger. 

This and other sites go on to make mighty definitive pronouncements about what Jesus really meant and what he could not possibly have meant.  Me, I think that if in your worldview you elect to rely on the Bible as the source of all wisdom and guidance for human affairs, and decide to go literal in some instances, you gotta go literal in all instances.

Oops, but that's a tad inconvenient for our current crop of evangelistic war-mongering Presidential candidates.

Oh, and the mandatory link to Ultrarunning: whenever I'm out in the backcountry, my thoughts go to trees, Nature, critters, and being a good animal myself as I silently run.  I don't concern myself with international affairs, revenge, or wars.

I wish our Presidential candidates were Ultrarunners; the world would have to be be a better place.

No comments:

Post a Comment