is there something wrong with me? or is it because of my world view and my experiences in life?
i am confused, once again, at the joy that people feel when another person is killed. ok. i’m not just confused. i am angered by it. disappointed in humanity. afraid that we will never grow out of our selfish, violent ways.
i realize that i have never lived in the middle of violence, or under the oppressive reign of a dictator. i have no idea what it feels like to live without rights. well, i take that back. yes i do. my wife and i cannot live in the US because we are women who we are married to each other. we are second class citizens, sinners and not worthy of the all the rights that americans have. i have felt the oppressive-ness of the US government, but i have been blessed to have not felt violence as a result of it (though i know that it exists).
when i watched the news this morning, reporting on the killing of gaddafi in libya, i was disturbed at something that i am usually disturbed by… people celebrating the death of another. don’t get me wrong. gaddafi was a terrible, terrible man and libya should never have had to live under his rule any longer. i’m not here to say how he should have been taken out of power, or what the solution is when there are people who are living with tyranny and violence. i have no idea how to deal with these complicated situations. i’m also not here to judge the celebrations of those people who have been victims of gaddafi’s reign, for i have not experienced the lives that they have led.
what i am talking about is this twisted sense of justice that so many have, especially those of us who are on-loookers, who haven’t lived in the situation, but watched it on tv. this sense of “2 wrongs make a right”, “you did this to me, so i’m gonna do it back to you”, “he/she was a bad person, so he/she deserves to die.”, “yes! God is great! the horrible man is gone!” “woo hoo! the bastard is dead!”
what is the deal with this? why do people seriously think that it is ok to celebrate and wish the death of another? how can people demand justice in a violent way? isn’t that just stooping to the level of the “bad person”? yes. there are people who do evil and horrible things, but how can celebrating the end of their life (or the life of anyone, for that matter) make right the terror and pain they have caused?
again, i may have no idea what i am talking about. but, something in my soul feels that it is so wrong to celebrate the death of another. for all of those who believe in jesus, when did he ever choose to be excited at another’s demise? when did he ever say that we should payback when we are wronged? in fact he said the complete opposite. when did he ever fight back? i do not know everything about all other faiths, but i do know that at the heart of all of them is love – love of self and love of others. God, the God of everyone, of every faith, is love. and i truly believe that there is not one time that God celebrates when any human being loses their life… whether it is a 96 year old who lived a long life, a 45 year old murderer on death row, a 26 year old addict, a 50 year old nun, a 6 year old child, a 36 year old parent, a 70 year old dictator and terrorist… the God of love yearns for humans to live in harmony and peace with one another, and to enjoy life.
so, what do we do with all of the injustice and violence in our world? what do we do when one source of injustice and violence no longer exists? i don’t have the answer. i do know that i feel a sense of relief that a dictator such as gaddafi is no longer imposing his violence on libyan citizens. but, my heart aches that this man felt so much hate, sought so much power, and believed that torture and violence was the path to his happiness. what a horrible was to live, and to die.
no. there are no celebrations coming from me this morning. there is only sadness and grief that this kind of violence and terror still exist in the world. there are only questions and wonderings as to how we move past the desire for greed, power, status, and selfshness that lead to such horrible situations. the death of gaddafi reminds me that we have a long way to go. we have much to do to ensure justice, equality, and peace for all. and there is much that we need to continue to learn about each other, so that we can live with respect, acceptance, and diversity. we still need to learn how to open our hearts and minds, and seek the difficult way of peace, instead of the easy way of violence.
peace. deep, true peace i wish for you all.