Friday, October 21, 2011

Justice or just plain Violence?

Why must it always end in violence and murder?

I must confess feeling a little distress at the images of deposed Lybian leader Muammar Kaddafi helpless, bleeding, manhandled and killed at the hands of his captors, which were all over the internet on this day. Of course all in the name of justice liberation and ....revenge perhaps!

Don’t get me wrong, I hold no sympathy for dictators and am aware of the brutality perpetrated by this man during his forty year regime! I just can not see how the cause of humanity is advanced when we treat other humans such!

The striving for justice and peace among all people, in my mind, has to be balanced with a great respect for the dignity of every human person, even out of luck dictators! Justice for all Libyans and peace for that nation could have begun today with justice and dignity for a defeated man. Instead we were treated to carnage, the end of an era of violence and injustice ushered in by ...more of the same!

The Episcopal Church’s baptismal covenant phrases it precisely so; Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? As we answer yes, and begin to consider with wonder the ineffable mystery of life, the breath of God in every human, the image of God imprinted on each human person we can not look at degradation, violence, oppression or the killing of persons in the same way!

It is in this spirit of recognizing and respecting human dignity that Christians reach out to help the needy, shelter the dispossessed, speak on behalf of the voiceless,are advocates for immigrants and the poor, oppose the death penalty and in no way can condone abortion as birth control! It is also why the brutal killing of a defenseless, wounded, senior citizen,albeit evil, ex dictator, feels odd in our souls!

It is reported that the wounded dictator repeatedly asked his captors “Do you know right from wrong”? It is a question I fear has been answered in the pictures and stories of the day!

May God the merciful and compassionate look with grace on the events of this day, may his Spirit of peace and goodwill blow over Lybia as it faces a new day.