Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

12 May 2009

Christ and Killing

I’ve been kind of depressed lately. Not as in, “I’m gunna kill mahself,” depressed, but just not happy with the way things are going in the world. Maybe "discouraged" is a better word. It's put me in a perpetual bad mood.

Recently, two sheriff’s deputies were gunned down in a town near here. They thought they were responding to a simple domestic disturbance, but for some reason it turned deadly. The man shot them both, then fled in his pickup truck. Other deputies gave chase, as you can imagine. In the town of Crestview, Florida, the police put those “spike strips” down on the road, intending to puncture the truck’s tires. The man simply drove around them. As he did, the cops opened fire, killing the 28 year-old driver. The cops justified the shooting by claiming that they were only stopping an obviously dangerous killer from possibly killing again.

Many people down here were exultant. They seemed happy that the man died. “He got what he deserved!” they cried, which seemed to be the prevailing sentiment.

Well, wait. Hang on. Yes, it is awful and tragic that the two deputies were killed as they were just doing their job. But that’s no reason to celebrate in the death of the man who killed them. Also, he still should have been afforded the right to a fair trial. If society decided that the death penalty was his punishment, then so be it. But I will not be happy or rejoice over it. And it really disturbs me that people find some pleasure in the death of another man - either locally or globally (as in the case of Saddam Hussein).

We seem to have become a society that enjoys killing…enjoys death. We’ve become a war-loving culture, and we wage it gleefully, as if there were no cost other than a monetary one. We like sending our troops in harm’s way. It makes us feel like we’re tough guys, I guess – The U.S. doesn't take shit from anyone! When it comes to our “Muslim extremist” foes, we still hear the call to, “Bomb them back to the Stone Age!” We’d rather not make peace – we’d rather make war. We sure don't mind hurting or killing one another either if it's "necessary."

And this is what’s got me down lately. I don’t think it’s what we’re meant to be doing. And I’ve been puzzling over how to put these thoughts into words.

Then along comes one Cynthia Tucker. She’s a writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her column often appears in our local Pensacola paper. This past Sunday, May 10, 2009, her subject was torture. You know, the infamous waterboarding. The former Administration actually got some of their lawyers to issue an opinion that waterboarding was not, in fact, “torture” and was, in fact, legal. Ms. Tucker (as well as a great many other Americans including me) disagrees.

Ms. Tucker bemoans the fact that although we as a nation have collectively known about waterboarding for a long time, we who call ourselves spiritual have been curiously silent about it. She writes:

Many evangelical Christians, black, white and brown, are Biblical literalists, insisting that homosexuality is a sin and evolution is heresy because the Bible says so. That same Bible introduces a simple teacher who instructed his followers to turn the other cheek, to repay cruelty with kindness, to disregard their personal safety. Yes, we may be forgiven for being afraid, but fear cannot justify inhumanity to others. How does that jibe with support for barbaric treatment of detainees?

The religious right certainly isn’t responsible for the decisions of the Bush administration, which raised torture to official policy. Nor were conservative Christians alone in their failure to speak out — loud and long — against it. Even as reports leaked out about simulated drownings, chaining prisoners to the ceiling and slamming them against walls, there were few voices raised in protest. Much of America stood by quietly as our ideals were trampled, international law violated and our moral standing eroded


Since the awful events of “9/11,” we’ve become a paranoid, fearful nation…a nation bent on getting revenge. And if we can’t get that, then we want to protect ourselves – and if it means going out and “killing them before they can kill us,” well…that’s okay.

Except it’s not.

Back in the early-1990’s there was a proliferation of “What Would Jesus Do?” bumper stickers. People wore bracelets and things with the intials, “W.W.J.D.”

I think we should update that phrase now. I think it should be, “Who Would Jesus Kill?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your previous post had a picture of Subway and a steak joint. What would PETA think?

Sorry your down lately, but let any of us spend a day in the life of a cop or soldier and then post an opinion on this subject.

Fair enough?