Monday, January 19, 2015

just can't do it...

jesus: I just can't use the faces of real human beings - not even Roman soldiers - as target practice. Cartoon by rob g.

Can you imagine Jesus throwing spears at soldiers of the occupying Roman army? Or even at the pictures of faces of soldiers, for practice?

I can't. Would Jesus be acclaimed as the leader of the Jewish resistance movement? Certainly some of his people were hoping he'd be that kind of Messiah, but that's not who he is nor what he came to do.

Instead, he willingly gave up his life to show us that violence is not the way to go.

And in the world late last week, outrage on Twitter at news of a South Florida police department using mugshots of black people for target practice. How's that for continued dehumanization of black people?

Granted these men were charged with crimes. That doesn't change the fact that they are human beings, with mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, other family members and friends. They are men created by the God of the universe, and no matter what, some glimpse of his image remains. Jesus loves them and gave his life for them.

And in very related news, the BBC reports that Sgt. Deant, a soldier in the National Guard was shocked when she saw her own brother's face as one of the target images at the North Miami Beach Police firing range which she was using after a training session.
The photo of her brother Woody Deant had been taken after his arrest as a teenager for drag racing. It had been shot several times.

Mr Deant said he was "speechless" when he heard the news.

"Now I'm being used as a target? I'm not even living that life according to how they portrayed me as. I'm a father. I'm a husband. I'm a career man. I work nine to five."
The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

South Florida Police department mugshots of black men-target-practice-2014-01-15

And for a small glimmer of solidarity from WP:

Reminds me slightly of the Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe who at Auschwitz took the place of a man who was going to be killed by starvation.

Clergy in uniform send in photos - "use me instead" - twitter post by Shane Claiborne

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