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April 06, 2008


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The Sheepcat

God bless him.


I note that the young man, by your description, simply stood between your daughter and her tormentors.

I am no pacifist, but I was uncomfortable with the way the two blogs you linked seemed to glory in the use of violence against the bullies.

Perhaps I'm reading more into them than was there. However, it seems to me that the minimal use of force is key. Often, the effective witness of minimal force is the most effective thing.

A friend of mine once preached a sermon about "the whole armour of God." Afterwards, an elderly parishioner asked if he had noticed what one was to do after having "put on the whole armour of God."

". . . and having done all, to stand."

As a serving naval officer (I do have a plethora of hats) I am accustomed to regular briefs on Rules of Engagment and Levels of Force. The force used, legally and morally, must be the least necessary to accomplish the desired lawful ends.

The young man in your story, having done all, simply stood - and rendered himself heroic in the process.

Alice the Camel

Glorifying? Uncomfortable?

Now I haven't spent any time in the forces, but lots of time on the playground. From what I hear the two aren't all that different always.

So then, is standing simply a matter of being vertical?
What role does conviction, conviction that the wrong must stop whatsoever, play in the power of "simply standing" and its success in diffusing a situation?

I suspect the difference is in how the stander defines the term, "whatsoever".

Glorifying? No. Just raising a question I feel needs to be batted around a bit. It's a little too easy to call the act of 'simply stood' a success without evaluating the outcome. To me, if we aren't careful it almost becomes like obeying the letter of the law. Humans tend toward that.

Is there a wrong wrong enough to do whatever it takes to stop?

On the playground, I find the kids who answer yes that are usually the ones able to settle things with the look in their eyes.

That makes a lot of teachers uncomfortable.


I think that Rick's view of such things would be definitely on the less than pacifist side of things. I recall reading a piece recently on bullying in schools and found it a rather timely subject. It raises a whole host of issues, and in particular when we get to the question of intervening to protect a third party.

It was more of a question-raiser than anything else, and a reminder that virtue sometimes comes in small packages...

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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