We live in a world of many hues. Little in this Earthly life is permanent, still less is truly clear in its nature. The Earth is bright and beautiful and kindly, true enough. We have been placed on a Good Earth by a loving Deity. And yet, there are sharks in the oceans, the mountains clench their fists full of hidden flames, and man is crueler to his fellow than any demon or devil could devise. Our world is not one of absolutes, no matter how comforting those absolutes might be to our minds and morals. Our souls are our own, and we must live in a world that is shrouded in shades and shadows of itself and our own choices.
Consider, for a moment, the Commandments. There are, indeed, strictures in Scripture against making oaths falsely, perjury, murder, theft, and adultery. Yesterday many of us saw what seems to have been a violation of the commandment not to kill. "Thou shalt not kill" sayeth the Lord. And yet, the bible is filled with death and murder. Why? How can this be so if we are commanded as a people of faith not to take another human life?
Because one life matters no less than any other. Those who would take from us that divine gift forfeit their own lives. We are people of morals, so we do not do murder. But we are not to be held helpless when attacked and confronted with violence. It is not written in the Scripture, nor should it be, as it presents ideals, but there is a corollary to "Thou shalt not Commit Murder." It is this: "Meet violence with swift violence, that those who would use violence to oppress are swiftly dealt with."
There is no moral stricture against self-defence. Indeed, it is a primal calling from within us. There is no justice in allowing one's self to be slaughtered, just as there is no true virtue in suffering unless it is for a cause. We must not delude ourselves into pacifism. Evil walks abroad in forms that are pleasing, and in forms that are frightening. We must be vigilant and prepared to answer that evil and vanquish it. Not with prayers, but with the strength the Deity put into our hands and minds.
And you no doubt answer me that "those who live by the sword shall likewise die by it." True enough. But that is not an argument against violence as much as it is a warning to those of use who would defend the others, to those who are willing to raise their hands against the evils in this world. With conflict comes risk, and if you do not wish to risk your life to stop man in his inhumanity, then you have little business proclaiming your virtue in refusing to take up arms. It is said, by men wiser than myself, that all evil requires for its prosperity is that men of goodwill should sit upon their hands and do nothing. The Deity asks that we have faith in Him. And so we should, trusting that He gave us the strength to do that which we must do. We ought not ask for miracles, putting the Lord to our own tests. It is we who are tested, our strength, not the Lord's. And is with that feeble strength that we must show ourselves faithful.