Counsel of Chalcedon
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Political Self-Defense

The concept of self-defense is easy to understand and its validity is recognized by most people, whether Christian or not. If somebody is attacked, it is easy to understand that fighting back is a proper and even a moral thing to do. That’s why people sympathize with the victim in these situations—self-defense seems naturally just.

That’s also why when a political debate is being framed, each side wants to be seen as the side that is being attacked— they want to be the side that is simply fighting back, rather than the bully who is picking fights.

So it should come as no surprise then that whenever Christians get politically active, they are portrayed as the aggressors. Ever since the 1970s when today’s conservative Christian political movements first began to take shape, Christians have been accused of trying to force our morality on other people. Why, Oh why, can’t we just leave others alone?

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