Stand Your Ground vs Turn the Other Cheek
Jesus taught to respond to violence and the threat of violence nonviolently. We may no like this approach, but, as usual, Jesus had our best interests in mind when he taught us to turn the other cheek. To return violence with violence only perpetuates an endless cycle of violence. But, moreso, it keeps one’s conscience clean. Killing in self-defense usually produces guilt because there is usually an alternative, such as turning the other cheek, which could have been employed. There is, of course, the necessity to defend the innocent, but to reduce the amount of unnecessary violence, this is best left to sanctioned authority. People acting according to stand your ground laws are not usually sanctioned authorities or necessarily defending the innocent. This type of law opens up too many possibilities to be effective at creating social order in which we are free to love the neighbor. In the case of George Zimmerman, the Florida stand your ground law created a murder that would not have happened had not George Zimmerman gone out of his way against the advice of a civil authority (911 operator). I was happy to see that Attorney General Eric Holder is looking into a federal review of stand your ground laws.