Wednesday, July 27, 2016
To die a martyr and turning the other cheek
Many Christians are very confused and deeply divided over a proper response to the terrorism we are experiencing by ISIS or Islamic Militant Extremists over the past few months. There have been so many instances this year alone; so many dead and wounded. I think people are shell shocked and don't really know what to do. I hear them say things like, "Christ wants us to turn the other cheek" and "We need to pray for our enemies".
Turning the other cheek is the counsel Christ gave in the instance of an individual when morally insulted: Humility conquers pride.
It has nothing to do with self-defense; and, yes, we are to pray for our enemies.
The Catholic Church has always maintained that the defiance of an evil force is not only a right but an obligation. Its Catechism (cf. #2265) cites St. Thomas Aquinas: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.”
In fact, to defend our lives, the lives of our children, our faith, is our duty and obligation. God does not want us to simply lie down and let our enemies murder us. He does not want us to run and hide (metaphorically speaking). He wants us to confront evil wherever it exists. We are to be fearless warriors who champion His cause!