The __(Nation)__ believed that ensure their own national security they had to __(verb)__ other people with their superior military force in order to extract ‘loyalty’ from the subjected people. They believed that any sign of weakness on __(Nation)__’s part, such as a failure to avenge a defeat in war or to punish a revolt with sufficiently ferocious violence, would be an invitation to diaster.
I found this an interesting paragraph to read due to our current socio-political situation. This book was referencing the Roman Empire, and how it reacted to terrorism with its own form of subjugation and terrorism, which eventually led to the politically unstable situation of Judea and Galilee during Jesus’s life.
What is unfortunate is that the particular context Jesus was born into, namely Roman Imperial rule, is the exact context that Christianity has established with its amagalation to Western Civilization.
For a country that was established, debatedly, upon a Christian ethos and is being currently lead, even more debatedly, by Christian leaders, retailitory and pre-emptive war in which XX,XXXs* humans have been killed, so that our country may not be seen as “weak” is terribly disturbing.
The response is often, well what other option did we have?
While I can say, we don’t know, my guess is that by repeating the options of a historic Empire which Jesus Christ was born into as a revolutionary and subversive character, should not have been them. As Dr. Stackhouse said into class, if you believe in the Providence of God, then it is precisely because of the instability of Judea and Galilee during Roman occupation that God interceded into human history.
In other words, God was using that empire as a foil to what God’s Kingdom would be like.
*by the way, whether the 655,000 humans number is inflated or if Bush’s 31,000 is deflated, the fact is still sad.