As the investigations of the London terror attacks continue, and the identities of the suicide bombers are revealed, it is quite disheartening to hear the standard drivel that seems to follow any act of violence.
Friends and neighbors of the perps express shock and dismay, noting that Mr. X. always seemed like a nice guy. If parents are interviewed, they express sorrow, and claim that they could not see this coming. And, worst of all, we get endless commentary on how they went wrong, or even more nauseating, what WE could have done to prevent them from going wrong.
The fixation on finding a reason for someone going wrong, and not focusing on the evil itself derives from functional atheism, pure and simple. In this worldview, there is no objective good and evil. That would require an ultimate source of morality. In fact, evil does not really exist. Rather, good men are driven to commit evil acts by some external force or circumstance. And, if only we can understand this, and work with the individual, rehabilitation is possible—restoring the offender to his natural good self. Applying this to suicide bombers does present logistical problems, but not to worry.
As is the case with all Leftist precepts, they never seem to work in the real world, yet that does not diminish their popularity one iota, nor lessen the passion of their advocates. This mental disorder, as Michael Savage puts it, goes further.
Without fail, after any act of appalling violence, there are “reasoned” cries against retaliation. Inevitably, the words of Jesus are invoked, usually by an atheist temporarily masquerading as a Christian:
You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. (Matthew 5:38-39)
Jesus, of course, was no ordinary preacher, and there is much more going on here, than our faux Christians realize. He is citing the so-called Lex Talionis, the oldest law in the world, as it was included in the Code of Hammurabi (18th century BC). Widely and wrongly interpreted as some sort of vengeful construct, it is, in fact, the foundation of mercy. It lays it down that only the man who committed the injury must be punished, and his punishment must be no more than the equivalent of the injury he has inflicted and the damage he has done.
Furthermore, as practiced in Old Testament times, punishment was to be meted out by the judge, not by the one offended, and Jewish scribes even noted that to carry out the rule literally might be a miscarriage of justice. What if a good eye or good tooth were removed in punishment for what was a bad eye or bad tooth? Beyond that, there are several instances of mercy in the Old Testament:
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)
Say not, “As he did to me, so will I do to him; I will repay the man according to his deeds.” (Proverbs 24:29)
If your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink. (Proverbs 25:21)
Let him offer his cheek to be struck, let him be filled with disgrace. (Lamentations 3:30)
Mercy being well established in Jewish custom, Jesus is talking about something different here. If a right-handed man is facing another man, and he wants to deliver this blow to the cheek, in all likelihood, it would be with the back of his hand. In Jewish Rabbinic law, this was considered a supreme insult. Jesus himself was called various names, and his followers were subjected to even worse, including being called cannibals. So what? There are a whole lot more important things to be concerned about, aren’t there?
For insults, snubs, and slights that we all encounter, then, resentment and retaliation are pointless. Note well, though, that this is in no way proscribes self-defense against physical assault. Indeed, we are called to care for the “least ones,” and who is more vulnerable than an innocent commuter, trying only to get to work?
Jesus would have little patience for our present day Pharisees (“blind guides,” He called them), who seek to mislead the people by attempting to elucidate “root causes” of what is nothing more than damnable evil. You want a root cause? It’s called free will. The terrorists made a choice to kill. They didn’t have to do it, they chose to do it. Case closed.