Friday, July 08, 2016

In the Wake of Recent Tragedies

I was heartbroken yesterday. I am no less so today. I'd like to ask you one thing. Please don't let the media, any politicians, or anyone else make this an "us" vs. "them" thing for you. It isn't.
You might not guess this from my past posts, but someone close to me wears the uniform and carries the gun. I thought about that waking up this morning, and I hadn't heard about Dallas yet. Maybe I was feeling something. Yes, it's not easy being an officer, and we need to see them as human beings and value their lives, and appreciate the dedication of the many who are doing their jobs well. But please understand that doesn't mean we can't make some changes in the system. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't value the lives of those who are senselessly killed, without due process, for minor infractions or sometimes no infraction at all. That doesn't mean we can't call for accountability, as we would in any other profession.
Just for a little perspective, does anyone think that teachers, coaches, and those who lead souls should be allowed to sexually abuse children unchecked? No, we have worked to change systems to control and deal with that…fortunately, to the benefit of all those who are good teachers, coaches, and leaders of souls. In a similar way, it is not that all or most policemen and policewomen are bad people. For heaven's sake, many of them get into it primarily because they want to serve. But if you assume they are all good, all make good judgments all the time, no matter what they do…even if they kill without cause, then would you make the same assumption if it were your child or son or husband who was a victim? Would you feel the same if a teacher abused your child? We need to respect the law but we need to change some of the systems, so that we have better training, better vetting, and more accountability in the profession.
One can be upset about both what happened with the two men who were killed by police in the past few days and what happened in Dallas. That is not mutually exclusive. Sure, perhaps some in the media want to make it us vs. them, like a sporting event, so we will watch and read. But it isn't us vs. them! For one thing, if you go there, you are comparing apples and oranges, a profession and a race. What sense does that even make?
Wanting accountability within a profession doesn't mean someone wants carnage, the very kind of carnage some of us are hoping to change. Why would anyone who is trying to fight for better legislation to stop violence want more violence? Are people even aware of the reasonable means being used to try to bring about change?
What happened in Dallas was a peaceful protest, which was being followed by a moment of silence. Who the snipers were and why they were there, I don't know. I don't know if we will ever really know the motivation. But it is grief upon grief for our nation.
I do want to add that all my teenage and adult life, I've grieved so much whenever I hear people say derogatory things or make derogatory judgments about people based on their race. I'm not saying I'm perfect and that I've never had any kind of prejudiced thought in my life; but I check myself on it. I'm not saying I'm a better person; maybe I was helped by my sister marrying someone of another race, while I was just a young teen. But all I know is it grieves me deeply. I think it must grieve the Father more. If we look at someone and automatically make a judgment about what they might do or think or feel, based on the color of their skin, then what are we saying to their Creator?

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