Turning the Other Cheek

AWKWARD EXCHANGE – BILL O’REILLY, DONALD TRUMP – Observation, Mary E Latela @LatelaMary, January 28, 2016

In a very awkward moment Bill O’Reilly (FOX) was literally begging Donald Trump to reconsider and participate in the final republican debate tonight.

O’Reilly pulled out the “Christian” card. “What about your Christian values? Forgiveness? Turning the other cheek?”

Stop. In contemporary culture, we may think of turning the other cheek as giving someone who smacked us on one side of the face an opportunity to slap the other. Not so in the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

“The Biblical scholar, Walter Wink, really helps us with this. Turning the other cheek was actually a very clever strategy for forcing the violator into an impossible contortion of arm and wrist and elbow.  The social mores of the day allowed for slapping, but only with the back of the right hand, never the palm, and NEVER with the left hand. ”

So turning the other cheek stops the action, freezes the scene as it brings a bit of shame to the attacker, who may not use his left hand and therefore cedes his power. People hearing this teaching and taking it to heart would have seen that “there must be another way” namely, the way of non-violence.

Verbal battery is assault in any case.

Be wary of playing the theologian unless you have the whole story and also understand the context. Thank you.

This entry was posted in faith and religion, StoryandSociety and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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