Saturday, December 26, 2009

To stand by and do nothing is unacceptable

Theologians J. P. Moreland and Norman Geisler say that "to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally." Self-defense?
I came across that quote earlier today while searching for something else and I thought it apt regarding my friend and his actions to save a bank robbery. John Rumley kicks ass

I don't know if the bank's policy was/is to stand back and give whatever a robber demands, but he didn't care. And I posted it in honor of him, but also as a reminder to me, that actions, not talk, bring results.

John is quiet man who had never spoken like he would "save the bank" during a robbery or any such rot. On that day he could have sat back and waited for the robbery to take place and then call police. Instead, he shunned pacifism and resisted evil.

If the circumstances were different, it may been a tragic day for his family. But his example would remain and would not have been in vain. The vision of this quiet unassuming man, defending himself, his employees and his bank, makes this story all the more remarkable.

Many of us know of people who have stated emphatically that they would resist evil on some fateful day in the future. I don't know what I will do when or if that time comes, but I will say that I predict it will be a very interesting day.


straightarrow said...

I believe you are wrong. You do know what you will do. People who say "No one knows how they will react until the time comes" are trying to put an excuse in place beforehand because they already doubt their ability to live to their stated principles. Those people, some very few of them, actually surprise themselves and rise to the occassion.

The braggarts, are about evenly divided, but I suspect some of that is due to people at large considering someone a braggart who states what he would do, because he knows that is what he did last time. I guess, what I am saying is not everyone considered a braggart actually is, some of them have already been there, done that, and have the T-shirt and do not doubt themselves. Of the remainder who are rightfully considered braggarts, some of them will rise to the occassion, but not a majority. Which is reasonable if you consider that a man secure within himself feels no need to broadcast, while the insecure do.

Then there are men like your friend, go along, get along, engage people peaceably as long as he need not betray his principles. But should his compliance be required in the harming of himself or others, then its "Katy bar the door", simply because his sense of honor demands it of him.

I don't know if I would like your friend, but I know I already respect him.

strandediniowa said...

I'm probably playing too much on this "John's kicking ass" stuff. He's a banker not a brawler and his taking physical action to stand in the "gate" seems a little out of character.

There's a principle that's in the back of my head: Never say "I will do this" or "I will do that" because circumstances may arise that throw all plans out the window. I have and will fully accept the consequences of whatever actions I take (or not take) during any test.

I was raised by a man who told me to keep my mouth shut and do the right thing and that what one does is important, not what you say you're going to do. My father had no patience for braggarts.

When I meet my maker, I do not wish to be found "wanting".

straightarrow said...

I think you will not be found wanting.

As to your friend John, there is nothing that says a banker cannot become a brawler should circumstance dictate. He obviously thought it did and took his stance.

It may have been a surprise to some, but it obviously wasn't out of character. Good on him.

Your father sounds like my stepfather who taught me about being a man, not just male. I pray I never let him down. Even though he is long gone, I think he would know.

strandediniowa said...

Thank you, straightarrow.

We lost my dad to cancer a couple of years ago. Growing up, I don't think I appreciated him as much as I should have. I also don't wish to let him down.

It sounds like your stepfather and my father would've gotten along.