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23 February 2014
posted by Canon Dakin on 27-02-2014

You have a son. He is being bullied at school. What advice do you give him?  You want him, of course, to have the highest Christian standards. Do you say: “Just offer it up”? Or do you say: “All bullies are cowards, hit him back and, you’ll see, he will stop”? Or do you go up to school, asking the teacher to put a stop to what is going on?  Remember what we heard in the first reading: “You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence”. It is no form of love just to close your eyes to another’s selfishness. There may be an opportunity of his bettering himself if he is told that what he is doing is objectionable.

Pacifism is a form of turning the other cheek. Pacifists may give an impression of being wets but a pacifist is literally a peacemaker. There have been many dramatic and distressing images of the conflict in Kiev. The Orthodox cathedral stands on the square occupied by the protestors. One of the strongest and most memorable of the pictures coming from there was of the Orthodox Patriarch, in the dignity of his full liturgical vestments, his cross in his hand, standing between the two sides, keeping them apart, and asking for a peaceful confrontation.  In the end he was ignored but that memory may still linger with effect in the minds of some.

Our Lord is not asking us just to lie down and allow ourselves to be trampled on. In Christian ethics it is possible to fight a just war 

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