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Mike’s solution kind of sounds like the best way to get the school bully to jump you on your way home with a couple of his buddies.
The only time I pushed back against a bully, he stopped completely. Made sense, it’s not worth it anymore.
To use that analogy for foreign affairs is a bit odd.
Mike Huckabee and his followers have more in common with Mars–the Roman god of War–than with the radical gospel of Jesus.
Jesus will always be greater than U.S. evangelical disdain for the Greatest Commandment.
yes! I think the quote puts him outside, in fearbase, no faith in jesus.
I agree with this post and it is thought provoking. However, how would this response have worked towards Hitler? I am not trying to be rude, just really asking: How should a Christian have responded toward someone such as Hitler? What is the difference between turn the other cheek and appeasement?
Since you are supposing What would have happened if someone had shown Hitler the love of Christ before he became the tyrant he was? The Bible says that the road is wide that leads to hell and narrow that leads to salvation. No one said being a Christian is easy, however Jesus does command us to love unconditionally as He loves us. Huckabee is taking the wide road. Jesus the narrow.
This, of course, is always the question. You could insert Stalin instead of Hitler. The fact is to my knowledge, no human ever tried Jesus’ way with any war lord. If s/he did, s/he was probably killed. Just like Jesus. martyr? maybe. But I will count on God to take care of me and my family if my life is taken because of my desire to serve God.
Another issue is lying, as in “The devil is a liar”> Iran has no nukes, is not bullying anyone, while the US overthrew their democratically elected PM in 1953 and installed the Shah and his secret police.
Why is this comparison just coming out now? I remember Huckabee’s horrible quote from months ago.
(In my personal experience, I found that the best way to deal with bullies is to show no fear, no willingness to back down, but also no willingness to retaliate. With one bully in particular I taunted him for months to make good on his threats to punch me right in the mouth me. When he finally hit me (in the ear rather than mouth, as I was getting tired of waiting and had just turned away ), my natural reaction was to burst into laughter. Once I calmed down enough to talk again (and retrieved my glasses, which had been knocked about 8 feet away, and popped a lens back into place but did not yet but them back on my face), I turned the other cheek and asked if he would like to try again. I assured him that it would be no more effective, but that if he still believed otherwise I’d rather him get on with it and stop wasting my time. He just stared at me looking utterly confused and powerless before backing down. This was in the 10th grade in the middle of a classroom (in a trailer, technically) where the teacher was present but not paying any attenition. There were several other student witnesses, who shouted comments like “damn, he’s got balls!” Over the next few days several members of the football team offered to beat the guy up for me, but I declined. He never bothered me again. He did however get suspended for the rest of the school year for hitting someone else about a month latter.)
While the Shah was not a walk in the park, he is better than the current regime in Iran. And yes you can measure it by how many people have been killed. Mike Huckabee is not my kind of candidate but please be careful with comparing the current Iranian leadership. Our state department has Iran as the #1 supplier to terrorist groups in the world.
They both can be right.
Another way of putting this debate:
Huckabee: To fight a monster you need to be one. Fight fire with fire!
Christ: Love is so powerful, nothing can withstand her power.
Though sometimes firefighters do create a contained fire in front of an approaching forest fire to burn off the potential fuel; under some circumstances, the contained fire becomes problematic in of itself. If we are to take Mr. Huckabee’s suggestion, then we must prepare for the worst possible outcome. Nothing good comes out of being a monster (or in this case, a bully).
Also, he’d have more credibility with me if it was his own body on the line in trying to put the bully on his butt. Jesus was talking about himself taking it on the chin, not his poor employees’ kids.
Kind of hard to take Ben seriously when by Ben’s own admission, “There’s no such thing as a “plain” or “straight forward” way of reading the Bible.” Although I’m not sure that Ben is accused of being consistent much.
Huckabee is a good Southern Baptist – the world I grew up in. This quote simply illustrates a truth that while so many evangelicals talk about faith in Christ, they actually live by fear, aggression, greed, and duty to Empire rather that faith in Christ. One can make an argument for serving Empire (as in the United States of America) above all else, just don’t call it Christian.
I’ll never understand how it is that Southern Baptists and other U.S. evangelicals pretend to claim Jesus as their “lord,” yet the application of Jesus to their own lives remains unthinkable to them. Jesus is downright offensive to their self-serving world view, as illustrated by Mike Huckabee.. or in Indiana during Holy Week. Shameful.
I could not have said it better myself. I find Mike Huckabee to be a very scary man, not the least interested in who Jesus Christ really is, but, we need to pray for him and bring him back to finding Jesus.
It was the mostly Christian Republican base that fully supported and defended Bush’s wars and shouted down anyone that dared to challenge the mission. Now we have the same foreign policy wonks calling for a tough stand with Iran..When will they ever learn…
No they can’t.
Of course they are. Fighting back to a bully ends the bullying. That’s doesn’t mean as a Christian we should but both statements are true.
It’s easy for them to send other peoples’ kids to die or get maimed in a war of choice. Many of them never took that risk themselves. It’s disgusting.
I disagree. Fighting back to a bully doesn’t always end the bullying. Sometimes it only increases the level of violence.
I think the point that Jeszaja was making was that we opened the door for the nightmare of Iran’s current government by overthrowing their democratically elected government and installing a regime we had some control over.
We did this because the democratically elected government in the early 1950’s planned to nationalize Iraq’s oil-wealth. This was very popular with the people of Iraq and very unpopular with oil companies, who – then and now – wield a great deal of influence in politics and policy. We also saw any sort of nationalization as a step towards communism, a faulty analogy but common during the cold war. That act of our CIA created so much resentment in Iraq that it served to light a slow-burning fuse that led to the Iraq revolution.
It’s impossible to re-wind history and see how things would have played out if we hadn’t let oil-company profits and cold-war proxy-obsession drive us to overthrow the legitimately-elected government of a sovereign nation in order to attempt to install a puppet-regime that would be friendly to our business and political interests, but it’s hard to imagine that they would look worse than the current situation. I take this as a lesson in the problems of being short-sighted, selfish and power-hungry.
You have got to be kidding me! Have you been to Iran? I was in Iran before the fall of the Shah. He was a despicable human being who imprisoned, tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of people. His secret police, SAVAK, were infinitely more brutal than you can imagine. Far more so than anything in present day Iran. You’ve been watching way too much Fox news.
You may want to read Walter Wink’s book – “The Powers That Be”. He addresses that issue – what should a Christian do about someone like Hitler – in a very good way. There is middle ground between being militaristic / violent and being pacifist. It’s what Wink calls the “third way”, that is…active non-violent resistance. I’ve seen it up close and personal when I was in Palestine in December with a Christian humanitarian organization. It works. Some folks talk about Bonhoeffer as an example but they should be reminded that he failed and as a result got a lot of innocent people killed. A more sterling example of non-violent resistance is Richard Wurmbrand.
Actually when one thinks of it — When you have a group of people that try to sabotage peace, isn’t that reprehensible? Reverend Mike Huckabee may want to rethink his position and make it more consistent with the message of the person he claims to follow.
I don’t think simplistic comparisons like this are helpful or that they persuade anyone who doesn’t already disagree with Huckabee. They create unnecessary divisions among Christians similar to what hard-core fundamentalists do.
I don’t know the context of Huckabee’s remarks, but I highly doubt he was suggesting literally punching one of Iran’s leaders in the face. I’m guessing he was referring to a diplomatic strategy that was more forceful than the one being pursued. I don’t think it’s the best analogy, and it very well could be a flawed strategy when dealing with Iran, but if you’re going to argue that Huckabee’s strategy for dealing with Iran conflicts with that Jesus would have our government do, then a more detailed blog post is probably better. This is complicated stuff.
Huckabee and a huge contingent of Republicans want to go to war with Iran over the nuclear issue. I don’t think Jesus would support preemptive wars against other countries.
“While the Shah was not a walk in the park, he is better than the current regime in Iran”
That’s an extremely questionable presupposition. I’m pretty sure the Shah regime killed more innocent Iranian civilians than this one has.
Yep. And affirming Jesus above war-mongering evangelicals is terribly, radically unpopular.
You should back up that assertion with some research. Let’s say that you are correct, the Shah outright killed more people. Are you aware of Iran’s record of human rights abuses? Should we care about oppressed people in our world? I would love a diplomatic solution. I don’t think we should attack Iran. I also live in reality. We need much wisdom from Christ on how we protect the vulnerable from the monstrous regime currently in power.
But today in Iran people are still imprisoned, tortured, and killed. It’s hard to place a scale on outright evil, as in Stalin murdered more people than Hitler. We all agree that any murderous leader needs to be stopped, using all of the wisdom from Jesus we can muster.
Being short-sighted, selfish, and power-hungry are all evidence of our broken humanity. The light and grace of Jesus Christ is the answer. Before that happens, we need to be cautious, asking for God’s wisdom.
Which is why you pray for the soul while defending the innocents who are being slaughtered by him.
I don’t care much for theology-by-meme. There needs to be context added. I do not support Mike Huckabee politically, but in no way will I judge his own way of following Jesus Christ. Accusing another believer of not being a good enough representative of Jesus is dangerous stuff. Let’s all remember who is called “The Accuser”, and not be in league with him. We are supposed to all be united in Christ, and I think Mr Huckabee is a good and decent man at heart. He’s on his own journey, just like the rest of us.
Huckabee is a typical NeoConservative Likudnic – he knows perfectly well that there is NOT an Iranian nuclear weapons program – he knows which side his bread is butter on – he sides with the Synagogue of Satan – Rev. 2:9 & 3:9
If that were true, everyone would be short-sighted and power-hungry. We’re not. Many of us can see our fellow human-beings as people rather than as resources to exploit. In fact, the tribalism that I see in some (though by no means all) churches adds to the problem, it does not alleviate it.
In Iran, the people elected a government we saw as not in our interests, so we arranged for it to be overthrown and then backed a despot that would be friendly to our business and political interests. It was one of our many proxy-cold-war manipulations, similar to our actions in South America at the time. Plenty of people saw this as profoundly mistaken, including advisors to the people making these decisions. They just weren’t listened to.
I think we do well to rely on our empathy, compassion and enlightened self-interest. I don’t think we’re broken, we just need to grow up a bit.
What evidence do you have that Huckabee wants to go to war with Iran?
What evidence do you have that Huckabee wants to go to war over this issue?
Thanks for saying this. I find these drive-by “graphic critiques” incredibly simplistic and self-righteous all at the same time.
The human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is far worse, actually; and it can also be argued that the Saudis support terrorism more. But Saudi Arabia is one of our closest allies in the middle east. Both Christian and Jewish communities exist in Iran, while there are zero in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile the human rights issues in the US go unresolved. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/5/11/us-faces-scathing-un-review-on-human-rights-record.html
Well if someone tried Jesus’ way and succeeded we probably would never hear about it because our news media only reports negative news.
If the German people followed Jesus’ way, Hitler would have not had an army to carry out the atrocities. In order for WWII or any war to happen someone has to be willing to kill others.
Well it’s your typical con man leap. The first thing Huckabee says is something that we all know has been true on occasion. Then he applies this simplistic example to a completely different situation. Iran is not a bully, the US and Iran are not children. The analogy is false. Hitting Iran will start a war and we cannot predict the outcome of that war, just like the outcome of the Iraq war was not accurately predicted. This is not a game. Many many people die unnecessarily.
The only reason a kid would have to resort to hitting a bully is because the adults are not in charge as they should be. Adults should not allow children to be bullied. There are many Cristlike ways that adults can control and change a child that bullies. Who’s the adult when two countries go to war?
I’d argue this is a little different than the Graham one because Huckabee is auditioning for the job of President. I’m a Lutheran, so this would be a Two Kingdoms issue for me.
Still…I’ve liked Huckabee in the past when he took a more merciful tone in general, but lately he really seems to be pandering to the worst in us and our fears. That makes me sad.
Fighting back is a personal decision, granted the highest response being don’t. However, I’m sick of the unbiblical disconnect between that personal decision to turn one’s OWN other cheek being likened to the choice not to oppose dictators. His wording I do not agree with, re. fighting Iran “because they’re never going to be nicer to us.” That isn’t why. It’s because there’s more than just us to defend. Jesus turned his own other cheek and encouraged us to do the same. He didn’t turn our other cheek for us and let the devil beat the crap out of us.
You lost me at “Iran is not a bully.” From there, I easily spotted your naivete about world affairs and determined the rest of your comments to be worthless.