Socrates and Jesus are undoubtedly two of the greatest teachers of humanity. Socrates famously maintained that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit it, and Jesus, according to MT 5:39, enjoins us to "Resist not the evildoer" and "Turn the other cheek." No one with any spiritual sensitivity can fail to be deeply impressed by these sayings. It is equally clear that no one with common sense can suppose that they can be applied in the public sphere.
Imagine a society that implemented a policy of not resisting (apprehending, trying, convicting, incarcerating, and in some cases executing) rapists, murderers, and miscreants generally. Such a society would seal its own death warrant and cease to function. Soon the people capable of being inspired by Socrates and Jesus and Buddha would be either dead or so harried that and their attempts at personal holiness would be over or rendered ineffective. Recall what the Chinese Communists did to Tibet and its Buddhist monasteries and monks. And while you are at it, remember what the Taliban barbarians did to the magnificent Afghan Buddhist statuary: they destroyed it with explosives.
Resist not the evildoer, and philosophy and science and all higher culture would be over as well. These beautiful flowers can exist only within a fortification maintained by police and military might and the will to use it. It is a fact of human nature that people, in the main, behave tolerably well only under threat of punishment. You can explain this in terms of Original Sin, or Original Ignorance, or any way you like; but the fact of deep-going corruption in the human heart cannot be gainsaid. The delusional Left cannot accept this fact, but therein lies their delusion.
People for the most part do not do the right thing because it is the right thing, but out of fear of punishment. This is not pessimism, but realism, and is known to be true by all unprejudiced students of history and society. Individuals and groups must be deterred from crime by threat of force. This is especially true of states: they exist in the state of nature relative to one another. Talk of a League of Nations or United Nations is more claptrap than anything else. The reason is obvious: there is no enforcement mechanism. U.N. Resolution 1559 is a good contemporary example. Had that resolution been enforced, the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict would not have raged.
As for turning the other cheek, it is a policy that works well in certain atypical circumstances. If a man has a well-formed conscience, and is capable of feeling shame, then turning the other cheek in the face of his affront can achieve a result far superior to that achieved by replying in kind. Nonviolence can work. Gandhi's nonviolent resistance to the British may serve as an historical example. The Brits could be shamed and in any case Gandhi had no other means at his disposal. But imagine what would happen if Israel turned the other cheek in the face of its Islamic enemies who would blow it off the face of the map at the first opportunity?
The case of the Jews is instructive. Once your enemy has reduced you to the status of a pig or a dog fit only to be slaughtered, then there is no way to reach him, shame him, or persuade him by acts of forebearance and kindness. You must resist him, with deadly force if necessary, if you wish to preserve your existence. That is why Israel was fully justified in the bloody summer of '06 in doing whatever it did to crush the military wing of the terrorist entity, Hezbollah.
But is it not better to suffer wrong than to inflict it, as Socrates maintained? Would it not be better to perish than to defend one's life by taking life? Perhaps, but only if the underlying Socratic/Platonic metaphysics and soteriology are true. If the soul is immortal, and the phenomenal world is of no ultimate concern — being a vale of tears, a place through which we temporarily sojourn on our way to our true home — then the care of the soul is paramount and to suffer wrong is better than to inflict it.
The same goes for Christianity which, as Nietzsche remarks, is "Platonism for the people." If you are a Christian, and look beyond this world for your true happiness, then you are entitled to practice an austere morality in your private life. But you are not entitled to impose that morality and metaphysics on others, or demand that the State codify that morality and metaphysics in its laws and policies. For one thing, it would violate the separation of Church and State. More importantly, the implementation of Christian morality would lead to the destruction of the State and the State's ability to secure life, liberty, and property — the three Lockean purposes for which we have a state in the first place. And without State protection there would be no oases of otium wherein the so inclined could pursue art and music and philosophy and spiritual practices.
There is no use denying that the State is a violent and coercive entity. To function at all in pursuit of its legitimate tasks of securing life, liberty, and property, it must be able to make war against external enemies and impose discipline upon internal malefactors. The violence may be justified, but it is violence nonethless. To incarcerate a person, for example, is to violate his liberty; it is to do evil to him, an evil necessary for a greater good that can be attained in no other way.
The problem is well understood by Hannah Arendt ("Truth and Politics" in Between Past and Future, Penguin 1968, p. 245):
The disastrous consequences for any community that began in all earnest to follow ethical precepts derived from man in the singular — be they Socratic or Platonic or Christian — have been frequently pointed out. Long before Machiavelli recommended protecting the political realm against the undiluted principles of the Christian faith (those who refuse to resist evil permit the wicked "to do as much evil as they please"), Aristotle warned against giving philosophers any say in political matters. (Men who for professional reasons must be so unconcerned with "what is good for themselves" cannot very well be trusted with what is good for others, and least of all with the "common good," the down-to-earth interests of the community.) [Arendt cites Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI, and in particular 1140b9 and 1141b4.]
There is a tension between man qua philosopher/Christian and man qua citizen. As a philosopher/Christian, I am concerned with my soul, with its integrity, purity, salvation. I take very seriously indeed the Socratic "Better to suffer wrong than to do it" and the Christian "Resist not the evildoer." But as a citizen I must be concerned not only with my own well-being but also with the public welfare. This is true a fortiori of public officials and people in a position to influence public opinion. So, as Arendt points out, the Socratic and Christian admonitions are not applicable in the public sphere.
What is applicable to me in the singular, as this existing individual concerned with the welfare of his immortal soul over that of his perishable body, is not applicable to me as citizen. As a citizen, I cannot "welcome the stranger" as the NT enjoins who violates the laws of my country, a stranger who may be a terrorist or a drug-smuggler or a human-trafficker or a carrier of a deadly disease or a person who has no respect for the traditions of the country he invades; I cannot aid and abet his law-breaking. I must be concerned with public order and the very conditions that make the philosophical and Christian life possible in the first place. If I were to aid and abet the stranger's lawbreaking, I would not be "rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
Indeed, the Caesar verse provides a scriptural basis for Church-State separation and indirectly exposes the fallacy of the Catholic bishops and others who seek to inject a particular personal morality into the public sphere.