Justifying Eye-for-an-Eye Retaliation According to the Bumbling Bamboozler, Donald J. Trump
(From the Perspective of an Irreligious, Historically Illiterate, “Ethically-infantile” President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the “Nuclear-giants” at the Pentagon)
"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we do about peace - more about killing than we do about living." - General Omar Bradley
“The moment we all feared is likely upon us. An unstable President is way over his head, panicking, with all his experienced advisers having quit, and only the sycophantic amateurs remaining. Assassinating foreign leaders; announcing plans to bomb civilians. A nightmare.” – Chris Murphy, US Senator (D-Connecticut)
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known, and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor — he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation — he works secretly and unknown to undermine the pillars of a city — he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” -- Cicero, 42 B.C. "
The things that will destroy humanity are
1) politics without principle;
2) pleasure without conscience;
3) wealth without work;
4) knowledge without character;
5) business without morality;
6) science without humanity; and
7) worship without sacrifice." - Mohandas Gandhi
"Oh Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown out the thunder of guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander un-befriended the wastes of their desolated land. We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love. Amen." - Mark Twain (The Christian Patriot's [Unspoken] Pulpit Prayer to "Support Our Troops")
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been fooled.” -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" (1987)
Because of a series of blunders by Sociopathic, Narcissistic, Conscienceless Foreign Policy Amateur Donald J. Trump, the world is on the brink of a world war. What should also be additionally frightening for clear-headed thinkers about the recent assassination of a hugely popular Iranian military general, is that a number of influential, End-of-Time Theory-believing, Rapture Theory-believing, radical right-wing (Christian Dominionist-leaning believers* - that have as one of their hidden, long-term agenda items a white supremacist, theocratic/anti-democratic state in America). These believers are (or have been) regularly popping up within federal and state Congresses, the US State Department, the Supreme Court and the White House, and some of them are actually secretly looking forward to an orchestrated Armageddon in the Middle East (that has been predicted for the last 100 years – by Christian “biblical literalists” – according to the book of Revelations!).
*(Suspects include: Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike and Karen Pence (R-IN), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Roy Moore (Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court), Justice Tom Parker, Sarah Palin (R-AK), Michele Bachmann (R- MN), Rick Perry (R-TX), Mike Huckabee,, Newt Gingrich, Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX), Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), etc, etc – www.politicalresearch.org/2016/08/18/dominionism-rising-a-theocratic-movement-hiding-in-plain-sight)
For these and other reasons it might be useful to review what the original scriptural texts of the three major monotheistic religions have to say about violence (ie, before latter-day disinformation agents had a chance to screw up religions - particularly Christianity), in order to get that innately pacifist followers of Jesus to conform to racist, patriotic, militaristic, greedy capitalistic, empire-building nationalism.
The serial-lying Trump, when he was still a long-shot candidate for POTUS, was in the process of flummoxing “bible-believing” racists, “bible-believing” neo-Nazis, “bible-believing” xenophobes, assorted “bible-believing” Obama-haters and “bible-believing” haters of political and theological progressives in order to get them to believe – and endorse him - that he was a fellow “believer” in their causes.
So, in a radio interview with a talk show host, Trump “professed” that his favorite Bible verse was the “Eye for an Eye” verse that he recalled hearing from someone in his upbringing that was quoting the Hebrew scriptures in order to biblically justify retaliatory violence.
Below is the quote from that interview (April 2016) with Bob Lonsberry (who was later fired for his racist comments on the air) on radio station WHAM 1180 out of Rochester, New York. Lonsberry had asked Trump to name his favorite verse from the bible. (It is useful to recall that the non-book-reading, non-church-going Trump had also falsely-professed that the Bible was his favorite book, right behind “The Art of the Deal”, which, incidentally, Trump had had ghost-written for him. The intended audience for many of Trump’s false claims were his eventual “bible-believing” base that swung the 2016 election his way.)
Five Useful References Concerning Eye-for-an-Eye Retaliatory Violence
1. The Gospel According to Trump (how our POTUS answered the question about his favorite bible verse):
“Well, I think many. I mean, you know, when we get into the Bible, I think many. So many. And some people — look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing. But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country, I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us. “And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country, and we have to be firm and have to be very strong. And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.” What Several Ancient Texts Have to Say About Eye for an Eye Retaliation
2. From the Ancient Babylonian Code of Hammaurabi (which was developed long before Hebrew, Christian or Islamic scriptural texts had been written), there was a brief reference to laws related to “eye for an eye” retaliation. That phrase from the Code is regarded by scholars as an actual restriction on retaliation for personal injuries — in other words, only an eye for an eye, and never more. Hammurabi states that he wants “to make justice visible in the land, to destroy the wicked person and the evil-doer, that the strong might not injure the weak.” The laws themselves support this compassionate claim, and protect widows, orphans and others from being harmed or exploited.
3. From the Quran Quran 5:45: “And therein We had ordained for them: 'A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for all wounds, like for like. But whosoever forgoes it by way of charity, it will be for him an expiation.75”
(75. Whoever forgoes his right of retaliation does a good deed which will atone for many of his sins. The same is confirmed by a tradition of the Prophet (peace be on him) in which he said: 'Whoever receives an injury on his body, then pardons (the inflictor of the injury), his sins are atoned for to the measure of his pardoning.' (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, pp. 316, 329.)
4. From the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament):
Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed; for in His own image God has made mankind.”
Exodus 21: 12: “Whoever strikes and kills a man must surely be put to death.”
Exodus 21:22-25: “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
Leviticus 24:19: “And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.”
Deuteronomy 19:21: “And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”
5. From the Christian Scripture’s (New Testament) Sermon on the Mount (The words of Jesus):
Matthew 5: 6-9: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:38-42: "You have heard it said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, resist not evil: but whosoever shall strike you on right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Matthew 5:43-47: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?”
Matthew 26: 52: “Put away the sword, for those who live by the sword will surely perish by the sword.” With that background, and for readers to come to their own conclusions concerning what our supposedly “Christian” civilian leadership and “Christian” military leaders (and their usually obedient, mostly “Christian” soldiers) should be doing to defuse the violent, planet-threatening situations that are confronting all of humanity, I submit the following quotes from the extensive writings of progressive-minded religious scholars and others that have properly interpreted Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount teachings for his followers:
"True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to an evil power...it is rather a courageous confrontation with evil by the power of love, in the faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflictor of it, since the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe, while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby bring about a transformation and change of heart." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Military power is as corrupting to the man who possesses it as it is pitiless to its victims. Violence is just as devastating to the soul of the perpetrator as it is to the body and souls of those who are victims of it" - American Friends (Quakers) Service Committee
"Where there is mercy, there is the Christ. And where there is cruelty, there is the satanic." -- Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem." - Howard Zinn, “Failure to Quit”
“We're not made by God to mass kill one another, and that's backed up by the Gospels. Lying and war are always associated. Pay attention to war-makers when they try to defend their current war; if they’re moving their lips they're lying.” - Phil Berrigan
“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone's skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?” - Bishop Oscar Romero, El Salvador (April 16, 1978)
"One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better."' - Daniel Berrigan
"You Christians have vested interests in unjust structures, that create victims, to whom you then can pour out your hearts in charity." - Karl Marx
“If any preacher tells you that personal salvation can be achieved without first paying attention to social justice, you may know by this sign alone that you are listening to a false prophet.” - Sydney Harris "War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity; it destroys religions, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it." - Martin Luther
"The church that preaches the gospel in all of its fullness, except as it applies to the great social ills of the day, is failing to preach the gospel." -- Martin Luther
Dr Kohls lives in Duluth, MN, USA and writes a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, the area’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s psychiatric drugging and over-vaccination regimens, and other movements that threaten the environment, prosperity, democracy, civility and the health and longevity of the planet and the populace. Many of his columns are archived at a variety of websites, including http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; http://freepress.org/dutytowarn/; https://www.lewrockwell.com/author/gary-g-kohls/; and https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Reader Weekly.”