Say what you want about George W. Bush, but the guy is a man’s man. He means what he says, and he says what he means. Whether you agree with the Texan or not, at least one always knows where they stand with him.
In recent years, he has also become the prime example of someone who has chosen to “turn the other cheek.” See, some folks see the act of turning one’s cheek as a moment of weakness; some folks see it as a challenge. It’s neither. How so?
Let me walk you through a couple of examples. The first would be the protagonist of a quaint little book: the New Testament. It’s easy reading, the kind of thing you can skim through with a cup of coffee on your daybed. The man is Jesus.
When Jesus told others to “turn the other cheek,” he said so knowing full well that it would be his ultimate act of defiance. The man was beaten, tortured and crucified but did nothing about it. Could he have? Umm, he’s Jesus. That’s the whole point. As a matter of fact, without the resurrection, Jesus would have never been able to “turn the other cheek” because he would have been… well, dead. He could have swatted down those centurions at any given moment but consciously chose not to, and that’s why his story is so impressive.
It’s very different from the modernized interpretation from parents who have gone soft. How often do we hear self-righteous claims like “Oh, we don’t teach little Johnny to fight. He’s learned to turn the other cheek.”
No, you’ve taught little Johnny to be a coward. He’s not turning the other cheek. Johnny’s a wimp and has no choice. He is completely powerless and so he ultimately has to give up his milk money. A true example of turning the other cheek would be: “Oh, actually little Johnny is a state-level wrestler and a black belt in Judo. He’s more than capable of handling himself but we teach him to avoid confrontation whenever he possibly can.”
The point that I’m making here is this: The act of turning one’s cheek only exists as a legitimate option to the one who could just as easily choose not to.
A good example would be the land of my upbringing, Canada. Often my liberal Canadian brethren will claim that “Canada doesn’t get involved in foreign affairs or wars overseas. We turn the other cheek.” No. Canada doesn’t have the military might to exercise any option OTHER than to remain uninvolved. They aren’t turning the other cheek. They’re pulling a Sweden.
A prime example of “turning the other cheek” would be the United States allowing Canada to exist as a country. Sure, we could take over Canada with ease. We’d certainly benefit from conquering a country rich in natural resources and never-ending comedic talent. Instead, we decide to make friends and treat them with the utmost respect. That’s choosing to turn the other cheek, and that’s true power.
Finally, this brings us back to George W. Bush. Though President Obama routinely pokes his finger in George’s chest by blaming him with every opportunity possible, Mr. Bush has remained silent. The former president could just as easily come out in the public square and yell “Listen, you’ve unprecedentedly multiplied the deficit, your irresponsible spending dwarfs any and all presidents that have come before you. Folks, you thought I sucked? Get a load of this punk.”
Instead, he’s chosen to say nothing. That’s true studliness.
So to all you men out there who want to use turning the other cheek as an excuse for your weakness … man up! Develop yourself to the point that you are powerful enough to face any conflict in your life head on and without trouble. Then, use your newfound confidence to avoid the conflict.
Unless the conflict involves Sean Penn. Then, this column is void.
Originally posted on FoxNews.com