Saturday, June 24, 2006

Revoking John 15:13

In an NPR story, Anatomy of a Shooting: A Civilian's Death in Iraq Maj. John Dunlap, the chief law officer for the 256th Army Division, is quoted:
"Soldiers were called upon to make decisions on a daily basis in snap seconds," Dunlap said. "And we did not want to create an environment where soldiers thought they were going to be second-guessed and prosecuted for making decisions that would save their life. Rule number one is to come home alive."
I remember reading St. John Chrysostom's commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. He was discussing whether statements such as "If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic" were to be taken as literal, prescriptive commands for us today. Chrysostom was musing whether following such advice would be hopelessly impractical. He said if anyone were to have become naked because they let people take all their clothing, that indeed you'd find folks willing to give up their very skin to make sure that such a faithful person would not go without clothes.

I've been to a few street festivals that allowed public drinking of beer. There were policemen there. I have often seen an appropriate police presence at these festivals. Now suppose in the middle of the crowd of families brawls were to break out among those who have had too much to drink. On one hand, can you imagine even the worst cop-hater having anything but sympathy for the cop injured breaking up a brawl to keep children from being injured? On the other hand, if your children were right next to the brawl, how would you feel if the cop's marching orders reallywere:
"Rule number one is to come home alive."
My goodness! if such a cop were right next to your kids, wouldn't you be bothered?

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