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?
Police chief defends use of photos of real people for target practice. @NBC6 investigation #humantargets pic.twitter.com/ORdRa0wq1UGranted 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.
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) January 15, 2015
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.The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
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."
And for a small glimmer of solidarity from WP:
In response to FL police using #humantargets - Clergy in uniform have now sent photos saying #usemeinstead @BrettBetkoski @nbc6 @deray
— Shane Claiborne (@ShaneClaiborne) January 17, 2015
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.