Letters - 04 November 2022

From Holding up a mirror to Rocky mountain high

Holding up a mirror

We like Tony D’Sousa’s suggestion in ‘Thought for the Week’ (21 October) that the impossible demands of the Sermon on the Mount can be approached only with the help of the grace of God.

But we think he is wrong to say that the text contains a clear injunction against feeling angry; what it says is that our anger will be judged – how self-centred is it? How truly directed to what is wrong in the world? Jesus himself did not hesitate to show anger when it was needed.

And in considering Jesus’s injunctions to ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘go the second mile’ we have been greatly helped by Walter Wink’s research, set out in The Powers that Be, which convinces us that these are not acts of weak submission, but ways of holding up a mirror to the oppressor and challenging his or her behaviour. 

Diana and John Lampen


It seemed bizarre to me that the New Zealand Arts Council had turned down a request for annual funding for the Shakespeare in Schools scheme saying the plays were set ‘within a canon of imperialism’.

But then I remembered that Friends House had removed William Penn’s name from a room for keeping slaves…

Or is it ‘Wear thy sword as long as thou canst’?

Melvyn Freake

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