When Christians Encounter Bullies Foreign And Domestic

Journalist Cal Thomas, on standing up to bullies on the playground and in American foreign policy:

“. . . Stirred by his adversaries’ impotent responses, the bully felt free to slug anyone he fancied. Most kids tried to avoid him, thinking their demonstration of weakness might protect them from being hit. It never did. Having set themselves up as easy targets, the bully went after these kids first. This lesson learned early in life has served me well as a citizen of the United States . . . During the Reagan years, in matters of foreign policy, self-defense was known as ‘peace through strength.’ And it worked. America’s strength and the assurance held by much of the world that we were willing to use our muscle against threats served to deter those who might have wanted a piece of us.’” (Cal Thomas, Spokesman-Review, Sept. 22, 2009)

OK. Cal Thomas is a Christian. He helped form the Moral Majority, he proudly argues the case of the Religious Right, and he is, perhaps, the most prominent Christian newspaper columnist right-wing evangelicals have. His conservative-Christian bona-fides are impeccable and his commitment to Christ rarely, if ever, challenged.

So why applaud a foreign policy, never mind a playground policy, that looks so remarkably unlike Christ’s teachings in the Gospels? “Peace through strength” may well keep a nation safe from its enemies. What it doesn’t do is keep it safe from the judgment of Jesus Christ.

And shouldn’t that be of first concern to those of us who take his name?

One Response to “When Christians Encounter Bullies Foreign And Domestic”

  1. Ashwin says:

    “What it doesn’t do is keep it safe from the judgment of Jesus Christ.”

    Judgement of Jesus Christ? We are already judged and found wanting. We are already condemned. It is the MERCY of Jesus Christ that saves us through His Sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit.

    If you disagree with Cal Thomas, that is fine. There is some merit in the sort of radical pacifism that is practised by the Anabaptists.

    But it is not the only way to manifest Christ. And its contrary is certainly NOT Anti-Christ.

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