Which is worse, the action or the reaction?

Unless you have been hidden under a huge rock in one of the small corners of the globe without any contact with television or internet, you know that there has been a landslide of bad happening in the land of the free lately.  I’m going to miss some things, I know, but what sticks in my head are the slap-on-the-hand sentence for the young promising swimmer who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford University, the senseless gunning down of promising singer Christina Grimmie in Florida, the horrific slaying and wounding of over 100 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and finally the tragic death of a two year old at what is billed as the Happiest Place on Earth.

For a brief moment, let us revert to our Sesame Street days and play “One of These Things Just Doesn’t Belong Here”.  Well, one way to look at it is that the rapist doesn’t belong, because that is the only event that did not involve death. He could also be eliminated because the crime did not occur in Florida, while the other three events did. The death of a toddler at the jaws of an alligator could be excluded, because at the base of this tragic occurrence is nature; the gator was simply doing what gators do.  Well, folks, in my little version of this game, they all belong. Why, you ask? Because all four events, all four acts that forever changed all the lives impacted by them, have caused some of the most sickening, disgusting displays of human depravity I personally have witnessed in 52 years on this planet. Is the rock still shielding you? Sorry, I brought a backhoe to move it, so that the garish light of human cruelty will shine its full light on every corner of your existence.

First, the young rapist. For that is what he is, tried and convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers. Then, the judge opened his mouth. Who knows, maybe he accidentally ran over a kitten on his way to work and was feeling a need to atone for his own sins, but he sentenced this convicted rapist to six months, with release at three months for good behavior! Sheesh, a bankruptcy stays on a credit report for 10 years!!!! The outcry began – fire the judge, castrate the rapist, hope he gets shanked in his three months—WHAT????? Yep, that and much worse was posted on social media.  For the less enlightened, a shank is a homemade knife found in prison populations, and many of society’s problem children have had their lives ended by this crudely sharpened bit of metal. So, folks on social media are hoping someone kills the rapist. Not just ends his life, but cruelly and painfully. If I posted some of the comments I have seen, I would physically be ill typing the words. However, go to the vitriolic commenter’s Facebook page and there is a plethora of “type amen if you love God”, “praying for {fill in the blank}”, “I am so blessed”, “Join us at XYZ Church as we praise our loving God”.  [insert sound of needle scratching across a vinyl LP].  WH WH WH WHAT????? This loving, God-fearing person is wishing DEATH on a fellow human being because they disagree with a sentence imposed by a judge?Personally, I think the little privileged boy should become a man with a complimentary 40 year hotel stay at the jail nearest his location, and not get out one second early. But, you think that is vindictive? No, that’s the law. The law that the judge, in my humble opinion, should have applied to the crime that he was convicted of committing. But, it is not my call. I do think it is wrong, but since I am not directly involved in any aspect of the case all that I can do is hope that the legal system catches this grievous error and corrects it. While the reaction of social media is not in and of itself a crime, it is sickening; every bit as sickening as that young man having his fun behind a dumpster with an unconscious woman. There are literally thousands of posts, if not millions, that fit this description, and that is just on Facebook. Since when is it okay to be hateful? Or worse, hate-filled while claiming to be loving and kind?

First point made – now on to the senseless shooting death of a young woman, Christina Grimmie, who had the voice of an angel. The public response to her senseless death was immediate and deafening, with a gofundme page exceeding all expectations and raising over 4 million dollars. Her death was a crime. But since her killer died, he was not subject to the plethora of vile things social media could have cooked up for his torture.  That is truly a blessing to those of us who do enjoy our Facebook pages, although the multitude of posts from just ordinary people who were “utterly devastated” and “completely heartbroken” over someone they had never met or had any personal contact with did get a little tiresome. However, events were to occur that kept the weeks of shallow praise to a minimum, because my second point is ended by the events of my third point, and it is the most disturbing.

Pulse Orlando, early Sunday morning. A nightclub full of happy people, enjoying the last moments of yet another early summer Saturday night party atmosphere, when the unimaginable happened. A man made a decision – a decision to use the law to break the law. This person opened fire with a rifle and killed 49 people, sent 53 to the hospital, and terrorized every single person who lived to tell about it. The SWAT team took him out, and about that time the media took over. Of course, since it was a club that catered to the homosexual community, there were those sick individuals who rejoiced. Yep, got that right, rejoiced.  Worse yet, they call themselves Christians! Followers of Jesus Christ, the man who ate with sinners, talked to all the dregs of society, and said the greatest commandment was to love one another. These men stood in pulpits just hours after the massacre and rejoiced at the loss of human life.  Rejoiced!!!!! I am sick. But wait, it gets worse! Every single video I have watched (and I have forced myself to watch many, looking for what I did not find) shows that NOT ONE PERSON IN THE CONGREGATION, NO MATTER WHERE IT WAS, GOT UP AND LEFT!!!!!!! Not. One. Single. Person. Sure, there may have been some on the fringes out of the camera shot.  But the videos show audiences nodding assent, or displaying disbelief at what they were hearing. Way to spread the word of Christ!How can any thinking person believe that their faith justifies happiness at the violent death of another human being? God himself said he wants not one to perish – so how is it okay for anyone to call themselves a Christian and rejoice at the death of a precious soul just because they disagree with how the other person lived their life? Forget religious affiliation – how is it okay for any human being to rejoice at the senseless death of another??? I will answer my own question; it is not okay. No justification or explanation exists to make it okay for this inhumane reaction.

This leads to my last point, the tragic loss of a precious 2 year old boy in a freak act of nature.  Yes, I said freak act of nature. Think about it. Did the alligator that snatched him realize that he (or she) was at a resort? Did that wild animal know that it was taking a human? Did it read the signs that said stay out of the water, and therefore decide to pounce on the first being small enough for it to grab that did not follow those warnings? Of course not! The alligator did what it’s natural instincts told it to do.  Hunt. Is it sad? Yes. It is tragic? Of course. Could it have been any number of our children? Sure! Is it anyone’s fault? NO. To prove neglect, one has to prove intent. Disney has had teams in place for decades to help control the population of wildlife that could interfere with a guest’s stay. Yes, stricter measures are being implemented.  Certain activities have been curtailed or eliminated. Should Disney pay? I do not think so. My reason is simple – it happened. It was not planned, nor premeditated.  It was not encouraged or expected.  As hard as it may be for today’s society to accept, it happened.  We must go forward. Of course, since this tragedy there have been multiple reports of gators and snakes at properties in the Walt Disney  World Resort, but those sightings were just as prevalent before this event.  The entire resort is built on a swamp, where things like this live. Unless there is some unknown gator whisperer, the millions of visitors to the Orlando area are the intruders, not the original inhabitants who are just doing what they do naturally.  If Disney is sued for this, what next? Suit filed for mosquito bites? Sunburn? It is tragic, it is unfathomable, but no one did anything wrong.  Sometimes life works that way.

So, back to the original question – which of these things just doesn’t belong here. It is my fervent belief that not one of them does – because all four instances, along with a multitude of others – have shown a harsh light on a growing epidemic:  man’s inhumanity toward man.

I give you my words – do with them what you will. May you have a wonderful summer solstice.

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This entry was posted in America, awareness, compassion, death, family, judgement, life, Uncategorized, violence. Bookmark the permalink.

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