Confronting Injustice LO6762

Julie Beedon (
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 20:03:36

Replying to LO6714 --

> Jesus said to turn the other cheek. That does not mean that
>a person should be a door mat unless they mean to be one.

The interpretation I have heard of this (from Walter Wink - Engaging the
Powers) [and I am doing this from memory and trying to be brief!!] - the
essence of this is in the nature of injustice and the systems which
dominate human existence. Jesus was offering alternatives to what Walter
calls the Domination System - the overarching models used by society.

If your your left cheek (and this may be the wrong one folks but you get
my point!) was slapped then this constituted an act of diminition for you
had been treated as a lesser person - slapping with the face of the hand
as opposed to the fist which is how 'equals' would fight. So the answer
to this injustice is to turn the cheek which would have to be hit with the
fist - thus you treat me as an equal or leave having somehow lost your
domination over me.

The same is true of the story of the 'walking the extra mile' - Roman law
was such that the soldiers had strict rules about what they could require
of the locals and they could not make them walk more than one mile. So
when made to walk a mile for one by offering the extra you transform the
domination or injustice in the same way for now the soldier would need to
'ask' you not to...

So maybe there are lessons for us in dealing with injustice here? What
are today's equivalents of the extrat mile that turn the tables thus??


Julie Beedon <>

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