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Friday, May 23, 2014

Got Virtue?

So I was arguing with some fellow about ethics and violence:  he said that true Christianity necessarily includes the command to "turn the other cheek" after all and sundry offenses.

I stated that the passage of the New T. in question states that when struck on one cheek, we turn the other, but leaves silent what to do if the abominable cheek-striker also hits the second proffered cheek.
I said that this passage was all about the first response, and nothing subsequent to that.

When confronted, let your first response be the peaceful response. Things being what they are, the majority of people would respond well to the peaceful response; they would let their anger subside, and there would probably be no escalation.

Beyond this, however, it may be time to kick tukhes.

The way I understand it, the cheek-turning could be interpreted as a strategy at the very beginning of a confrontation, which if successfully done, could avert conflict.
However, once this fails, we are in the realm of Virtue.

Whatever we do should be formed by our upbringing in Virtue - our reaction after our first peaceful response is rejected should be in accord with what we understand Virtue requires of us.

Virtue has a duality.
It has an eye on the Holy and morality, but is also has an eye on our humanity - "virtue" being derived from Latin "vir" meaning "man", and usually "man" with some notion of strength, not just generic "man", which would be "homo".

Within that duality we act out our morality play about violence and peace.

Pity the guys and dolls who skipped school the day Virtue was being taught, however.


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