A few decades ago, I had a friend who had a somewhat worrisome problem. He was being bullied by a kid and as these things always go, he couldn’t sleep and was becoming resistant to going to school. On a weekend; as we rode our bikes, we talked about his problem and about the kid who was bullying him.
The bully was just another kid who was a friend of mine. He wasn’t particularly bigger or smarter or more popular than my pal Randy with whom I hung out, but for some reason, what had started as making a joke at Randy’s expense, became an all-out, daily ritual of public humiliation. Because my friend Randy was from a Christian home, he did his best to understand Jesus teaching of “turning the other cheek, but not only did it NOT stop the bullying…it added fuel to the fire! The bully waxed bolder.
Randy began avoiding the usual path into school when he got off the school bus. He would get off the bus and go around to the side door and run up the stairs straight to the classroom, thereby avoiding the hallway where the bully waited daily to “cut him off at the pass” and start taunting him. After the bully found out Randy’s strategy he would go and wait in the stairwell where Randy would run and continue his bullying there. Randy started a new tactic, which; at first confused the bully. Randy began to laugh along with others when the bully would taunt him in an attempt to make it look good natured and appear that he enjoyed the abuse. In reality, Randy confided in me that the guy bullying him was eroding his self confidence so much that he hated himself for being so afraid.
I remember seeing this usually happy, funny and good-natured kid, sit sullen, eyes downcast and quiet. He began to doubt whether “turning the other cheek” was such a good idea. Randy commented that he had hoped the bully would tire of taunting him but, it had escalated from mere words, to Randy now getting pushed and shoved in the back hallways of school and being threatened. The kid who was doing the bullying, now had a “posse” and they would actually make my friend do demeaning things telling him that “if you do this, we’ll stop bullying you!” Ashamedly, with tear filled eyes, my friend confided in me that he had complied with their requests, even barking like a dog to their laughter and derision. He hated himself.
On a different weekend, after months of this kind of abusive bullying…I could only see a shell of a boy where before he had been confident and full of life. You wonder why kids take their own lives? It is because they live in a prison of self-hatred…believing that there really IS something wrong with them…and looking in the mirror they begin to hate themselves for ever complying and appeasing their tormentors.
I looked at my friend and whether or not you agree with me, I told him, to stop changing his routine, and to stand up for himself. Now…it is here in the story where I ask you, what would YOU have told him to do? Go the teachers or Principal and ask him to talk to the bully? Randy had tried that with only temporary results. Have his parents speak to the bully’s parents? He did that, but it only made the bully more aggressive and want revenge. So, Randy and I made a plan. On the next Monday morning, Randy walked boldly through the front door of the school, books in hand and looking straight ahead.
The bully began his withering attack toward my friend and this time, Randy told him to stop. The bully became angry and said, “Make me!” Randy’s right fist landed squarely on the nose of the bully. The “posse” immediately wet their pants and the bully crumpled onto the floor crying and calling for the teacher. Both were marched to the Principal’s office and…even though the principal knew the circumstances and probably thought the bully had gotten what he deserved…he punished both of them.
Randy later told me, smiling ear to ear, that it was the best punishment he had ever had!
From that day on, there was no more bullying. Randy walked with impunity down the hallway and wasn’t bothered anymore. Hs confidence returned and he later told me that he had misunderstood “turning the other cheek.” He had thought it meant to take any injustice and cower in defeat. But it didn’t mean that at all. It meant in terms of injustice concerning Christ and our faith, we were to love unconditionally and go the extra mile…but it DIDN’T mean to purchase peace by allowing evil to triumph over good!
Randy is a parable to show you the path to how we as a country have arrived at the place of being “a divided nation.” And yes, I’m fixing to give somebody a bloody nose!
For decades conservatives have bought in to an absolutely ridiculous and pacifistic philosophy that we need to “purchase” peace by not making the left “angry”. Many good hearted, clear thinking conservatives, most of whom believe that when you are maligned politically or accused maliciously that you just stand silently and take it, think that peace can be purchased by silence. The left has advanced dangerous and threatening policies that have brought our country to the precipice of disaster as a result of not being challenged.
Enter Donald Trump. Trump believes in the philosophy that Sean Connery espoused in the movie “the Untouchables”.
Connery: “You said you wanted to know how to get Capone. Do you really want to get him?”
Kevin Costner looks inquisitively—
Connery: “You see what I’m saying don’t you? What are you prepared to do?
Costner: “Everything within the law.”
Connery, “and then what are you prepared to do?” “If you open the door on these people Mr Ness, you must be prepared to go all the way! Because they won’t give up the fight until one of you is dead!”
Costner: “I want to get Capone, I don’t know how to get him!”
Connery: “Want to get Capone? Here’s how you get him… He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue…THAT’s the Chicago way! Now…do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I’m making you a deal… do you want this deal?”
Costner: I have sworn to put this man away with any and all legal means at my disposal, and I will do so!”
Connery: Well, the Lord hates a coward…do you know what a blood oath is Mr. Ness? (shaking hands)
Connery: “Good… cause you just made one.”
What you are thinking right now is, “That is SO unchristian!” “How can you even THINK of going so stridently against scripture you warmonger!” Well, besides the obvious of metaphors killing and bloodshed, no it isn’t. I am not calling for bloodshed even though I will be accused of that. I am calling conservatives to not back down from a good argument! I am urging them to NOT remain silent in some ridiculous belief that by being quiet we won’t make people, “angry.” I am sick and tired of that stupid straw man. “Oh, don’t say anything that will bring an “us vs. them” argument!!! It just makes our nation divided!” In other words, just let them slander your beliefs and pass legislation without making a contradictory argument and it will show love and peace. I’m sorry, but my B.S. meter just went off!
Our forefathers fought and died in numerous wars for our freedom. Many left widows and children in the wake of fighting for our right to assemble peaceably and to bear arms. They gave their lives away to be able to protect our freedom to petition Congress for a redress of grievances. We current members of this family legacy have to understand that what used to happen with bullets and mortar rounds is now taking place with words and withering character assassination…and Christian conservatives had better use the reason and eloquence bequeathed to them by Almighty God or lose everything that our forefathers fought for!
What Trump has taught the conservatives in our country in three short years is that you never bring a knife to a gun fight. You counter every argument with the same virulence that it came at you. It doesn’t win you friends…but he doesn’t need more friends…and neither do I. What is dividing us as a nation is that we don’t have to swallow everything the left feeds us…we have refused and they don’t like it because the right has begun to “speak up.” Trump has thrown an elbow and the left has a major bloody nose and they don’t know what hit them. Like the character Howard Beale in the 1975 blockbuster “Network” “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
If you believe that any kind of uncomfortable discourse involving pointing out obvious error from the left is non-productive…you don’t in my opinion understand Christian reason. If you think that Christians cannot argue coherently in a social network and make conservative political statements that will anger the left while still loving them…you may need to study what love really is. If you feel that Patriotism is better served in silence and believe it to be a gentle quiet and loving force in society, that may be true in terms of loving unconditionally as a Christian, but it is NEVER to be silent about politics because Christianity preaches a Jesus upon whose shoulders rests the government of the nations.
While all of us possess different gifts, given by God, the one character trait we ALL have in common is courage. We can reason and argue righteous points if we are not afraid of losing friends. These days, we don’t stone prophets…we ridicule and laugh at them. We must not be afraid of speaking truth in order to pacify conditional friendships. No, politics is not necessarily the hill we want to die on… but standing for truth and opposing false ideas disguised as “compassion” and “reasonable” most certainly is.
IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES…ASK ROE VS. WADE…
I am willing to throw some elbows…and I’m willing to take a few. But never, EVER mistake my desire to win you over to Christ or speak the truth of Biblical principles in government as me appeasing or opposing philosophies… because at the end of the day, according to biblical and Godly principles…right, will ALWAYS make might! And THAT is God’s way in my book!