7 months, 3 weeks ago
Self defense against criminals or self defense against — criminals? Kurt Hofmann asks the question:
But as a practical matter, does that really make much difference? When you defend yourself against an assailant who happens to be a common criminal, after all, you’re defending your rights from violation, no less than if your attacker–and aspiring rights violator–draws a government paycheck, carries a tax revenue-supplied firearm, and is acting on government orders. Likewise, in resisting a tyrannical government, you are defending yourself from that government–and the hired muscle of said government, from whom you are defending yourself, is no less criminal than the common street thug or rapist.
To claim a difference, other than one of scale, between a thug who rapes a woman, and a tyrant who rapes a nation, is to elevate the tyrant to something greater than the thug-writ-large he is.
Great point. Consider for a moment gun control in Nazi Germany and what it did to the Jews. It matters little (or not at all) whether the home invader is uniformed or not. We must all ponder these difficult things.
Remember when you do ponder that we’re not the first to do so. Dietrich Bonhoeffer decided – albeit a little late to the game – that he had to speak and act. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” I claim that God has very specific requirements of us when we act.
So as to the question, the answer is not “either-or.” It is “both-and.”