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So There Was A Man....
Karl Denninger

.... who found himself before St. Peter at the age of 50.

St. Peter said to him I didn't expect you for quite some time yet -- 50 is rather young.  Why are you here?

The man knew St. Peter was aware of the circumstances, but he decided to play along and told him:  I was walking back to my car after eating dinner out and a man accosted me, demanding my wallet while pointing a gun in my face.  Turning the other cheek, as Christ has commanded, I gave it to him.  He shot me and thus I'm here.

St Peter remarked You are an interesting case indeed.  Even at the most-serious of moments you did indeed turn the other cheek.  And this was not the only time that you believed you were honoring Christ's words under extreme circumstances, was it?

Oh no the man replied.  20 years ago my daughter was raped in our home.  I was compelled to not commit blood lust in the heat of the moment, for that could not un-rape her after all.  Instead I called the police after he ran off.

Ah, this is the problem you see mused St. Peter.  That man who raped your daughter is in Hell today, having been killed a few weeks later while attempting another rape; while the police did their best and I cannot fault their response and pursuit of the assailant these things take time.  I remember that man quite-well and his case was an easy decision.  But before he came before me, and after your encounter, in fact the very next day he raped a prostitute.  The prostitute, like most who are in that trade, had a pimp and was deathly afraid of revealing that an unpaid sex act had occurred, so she didn't tell him.  She became pregnant and when she began to show the pimp ejected her from his harem.  At this point she was both broke and lived in a state where she had no choice but to bear the child, and did so.

But she didn't want that child.  The boy grew up on the streets.  He was taught how to shoot by a gang member when he was six.  He committed his first armed robbery when he was eight, and his first rape at twelve.  Being a juvenile he was repeatedly slapped on the wrist and never forced to pay for any of his crimes even though they were quite heinous.  By mere luck he had not killed anyone up until a few minutes ago.

Just by happenstance, this is the man who held you up tonight and killed you.

You are dead, and myriad others have been raped, robbed and otherwise abused, because you believed that Christ's admonition to "turn the other cheek" meant you should not act against someone who aggresses against you or someone you are responsible for -- or who credibly threatens to do so.

But in making that evaluation you deliberately left out of your analysis the single Commandment Christ actually put forth not in a parable but as an actual Commandment, in clear language.  That Commandment, which Christ did indeed charge all with is to love your neighbor as yourself.

To allow your daughter to be raped was a heinous sin against this Commandment.  You had large kitchen knives in the house.  Your son's baseball bat was propped up against his door, which was right at-hand.  Your fireplace tools, a few steps away, include a poker made out of solid steel.  You had multiple weapons with which to arm yourself and terminate not only his assault but the capacity to assault others.

Further, and to that same point, your neighbor is not limited to your kin, of course.  Indeed you knew this man attacking your daughter was a monster as he had demonstrated that by his actions.  We shoot a rabid animal not because we hate it but because it will bite other people, giving them rabies and quite-possibly killing them.  Even though that animal might be your dog and your best friend you must kill it in this circumstance because it has lost its mind and if you do not it will do monstrous things, and you are certain of this.  Your duty to others loving them as you love yourself, commands that since you can stop that from happening you must.

I cannot overlook that the harm which occurred as a result of your decision was not prospective or speculative, nor can I overlook the sin that caused it, for which you are unrepentant.  Both the harm and sin were extremely serious.  Several other women were raped and many were robbed.  A second person was created, turned into a monster while being brought to adulthood and loosed upon the population, committing even more mayhem. While Christ never directly commanded that you are your brother's keeper, he made clear that you must bear the burdens you know of and can influence in 6 Galatians, where it is also made clear that what a man sows, he shall reap.

Your defense in this regard is pacifism, but in the face of reality, which is often violent even though we would all wish otherwise, your argument boils down to cowardice, and while only Revelations directly speaks to cowardice as a sin it is as assured a principle as any, all the way back to Moses.

For this reason I cannot admit you to Heaven and being unrepentant I also cannot commit you to purgatory.  However, I can arrange for you to meet the person who killed you again, as he is in the throes of a fentanyl overdose and will soon be here.  You shall have to negotiate whatever you may wish to in that regard with the man in the Red Suit, and it will be quite a bit warmer there, with some obnoxious odors, than you're used to.


Mr. Denninger, recent author of the book Leverage: How Cheap Money Will Destroy the World, is the former CEO of MCSNet, a regional Chicago area networking and Internet company that operated from 1987 to 1998. MCSNet was proud to offer several "firsts" in the Internet Service space, including integral customer-specified spam filtering for all customers and the first virtual web server available to the general public. Mr. Denninger's other accomplishments include the design and construction of regional and national IP-based networks and development of electronic conferencing software reaching back to the 1980s.

He has been a full-time trader since 1998, author of The Market Ticker, a daily market commentary, and operator of TickerForum, an online trading community, both since 2007.

Mr. Denninger received the 2008 Reed Irvine Accuracy In Media Award for Grassroots Journalism for his coverage of the 2008 market meltdown.


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