Friday, November 19, 2010

Bible lesson at Christian School

The very first thing I'm going to say is that I do NOT approve of anyone striking anyone else.

Now, to the case of the Christian school teacher who was struck in the face by a parent in Mobile, Alabama.

Arlicia Yvonne Winbush (pictured) was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct after police say she struck a teacher at Faith Academy in the left cheek.

Police told The Press-Register that Winbush entered the classroom “using loud, boisterous and profane language,” later, in the hallway, hitting the left side of the teacher's face.

Such behavior is call for arrest, and that's what happened. But the incident brings to light one of the hard sayings of Jesus:

"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." -- Jesus (Matthew 5:39 NIV)
For a biblical literalist, this shouldn't be a hard one: The teacher was literally struck on the cheek. He/she should have turned the other one.

Not so fast: If you want to be uber-literal, it says if someone strikes you on the RIGHT cheek, you should turn the other one. The teacher allegedly was struck on the LEFT cheek. An out!

But anyone with half a brain knows that even a literal reading of the command would expend to being hit on the left. So should the teacher have stood there and taken it?

Maybe he/she did. The news account doesn't say. But there's also the consideration that children were present, and the teacher had a duty to protect them. Taking a literal beating might have spurred an enraged person to move on to more victims -- and ones more vulnerable no less.

pluck out your eye.