Photo of a Falun Gong practitioner being arrested in Tiananmen Square‘Weaknesses’ by Charlie Bauer The Society December 21, 2018 Human Rights in China, Poetry 10 Comments I read that Christ said: “Turn the other cheek,” And told good friends I held that notion, but Still wondered if that turning made me weak. The answer didn’t seem to be clear cut. “I’ll show you weakness,” said His voice, “Just see What blood Red China’s done to those who hold That truthfulness best defines reality, Show mercy, practice self-control, don’t fold When they are taken, day or night, to be Maimed, tortured, all for doing nothing wrong; Their organs taken by Beijing’s decree. In case you wonder, they’re the Falun Gong. So if you bristle at another’s reach, Remember: others suffer what you preach.” Charles Bauer resides in Chapel Hill, NC and is a salesman for a commercial carpet manufacturer. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 10 Responses Sally Cook December 21, 2018 Dear Mr. Bauer — I like that you express yourself so clearly. Please let us see more of your work. Reply Charlie Bauer December 21, 2018 Dear Ms. Cook — Thank you very much for your encouragement! I have only recently started writing poetry worth reading so I don’t have many; the Society has published the ones worth reading. Best wishes, Charlie Reply Aw "Curbside" Lee December 21, 2018 Mr. Bauer takes a different tact in his sonnet “Weaknesses”. His reminder is to those who preach: Turn the other cheek. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν μὴ ἀντιστῆναι τῷ πονηρῷ· ἀλλ’ ὅστις σε ῥαπίζει εἰς τὴν δεξιὰν σιαγόνα σου, στρέψον αὐτῷ καὶ τὴν ἄλλην· Matthew 5: 39. It just doesn’t end, does it—in China? The brutal murders continue. If the mainstream media spent ⅛ as much outrage on the persecution in China as they do on the President, they might be considered more as purveyors of truth and less as deliverers of fake news. It is important that we as poets not let the World forget. Like Mr. Tessitore, who noted its horrifying quality, I too, responded verbally to the picture Mr. Mantyk recently posted on a picture of an execution in China: A Photo of an Execution in China Against a wall of earth and rock, a pale, brownish gray, a youngish woman stands in white. It is a sunny day. A man behind her pulls upon what seems her hand-cuffed hands. Is he unlocking them pulled back? So patiently she stands. Her lovely, shiny, black hair pulled back in a pony tail falls down onto her back. Perhaps she is too shocked to wail. There are no eyes here. It is as if everything is dead. She faces dirt. Her executioner is focused on her head. The two men fidgeting about her back seem unconcerned. In dark sunglasses, cautious, peeking, a soldier’s head has turned. The scene with soldiers chatting, hardly caring, has begun. In uniform, the executioner has aimed his gun. The rifle, barrel silver-gray, is firmly in his grip. Its butt is snuggled in his shoulder. One can’t see his lip. The men are all in smartish jackets, flat and round-topped hats; there must be dozens loitering. I do not know the stats. Reply Charlie Bauer December 21, 2018 Thanks for your thoughts and comments “Curbside”! I have to agree that the pictures, and by implication the structure of a society that countenances the acts that created them, are horrifying. Best wishes, Charlie Reply C.B. Anderson December 21, 2018 So, Mr. Bauer, are you suggesting that Christ’s message was that we should suffer the indignities of our oppressors? Perhaps so, but I don’t like it one bit. Maybe your message was meant to be ambiguous, and I don’t mind that at all. What happens after we have turned both our cheeks is what concerns me. It goes back to all of the Old Testament talk of smiting the enemies of Israel. As a Christian in America, I can scarcely imagine what Israeli Jews must face every day of the year. Reply Charlie Bauer December 21, 2018 Thanks for your question Mr. Anderson because it is a very good one. Your reaction referring to oppressors is very reasonable and points to a challenging question in Christian theology: Christ told us to “turn the other cheek”, but he also displayed righteous anger when he cleansed the temple; that seems to me to indicate that he didn’t expect one instruction to cover all situations. On another level, which is completely personal to me, I can’t help but be in awe of the Falun Gong’s conviction and wonder how mine compares to it; it would seem to me that the strength of their conviction approaches that of first century Christians. In closing I hope you see that I’m not trying to suggest any course of action, merely examining the issues involved. It seems to me a difficult line of thought because life is not black and white, but gray. Best wishes Charlie Reply C.B. Anderson December 21, 2018 Yes, exactly. All confrontations are situational, no matter what doctrines are adhered to. Good job with the poem. That’s all that’s expected here. Reply Charlie Bauer December 21, 2018 Well said and thank you for your thoughts and compliment; they are very appreciated! David Watt December 22, 2018 Your sonnet poses an important question, and also manages to make a strong statement against the cruelties inflicted on Falun Gong. To cover so much with a minimum of words is a job well-done. Reply Charlie Bauer December 22, 2018 Thank you Mr. Watt! Your observation and compliment are very appreciated. Best wishes, Charlie Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.