The rapidity with which these executions are taking place is stunning. In fact, these executions are becoming so routine that it’s easy for people to forget that actual humans are being executed. Such dehumanization has a variety of consequences…not the least of which is that we become comfortable killers. You see it takes a real human to kill and it takes a real human to be killed. The two are intrinsically connected. Thus, our dehumanization further has the consequences of dehumanizing the victim. Meaning, if you erase the killer then you are erasing the killed. Our common humanity will either be our common triumph or our common downfall. Right now, it is our lack of humanity that is making room for these executions to continue. We are zealous to destroy with no idea of how to rebuild. Humanization is the only path forward…yet we seem so determined to go backward.
A child of God is not a caricature, and a caricature is not a child of God. Reality is real. A human is real. We must come face to face with what we are doing. We must listen to the stories of the condemned. We must feel the pain of the victims. We must search out the totality of these circumstances. We must find a way to heal. If we do not, we will continue to live under the evil of vengeance. These executions are a measurement of progress. Have we moved past the barbarism of destruction? Or, have we progressed to a place of hope? It seems quite logical that one cannot teach people how not to kill by killing. Can you imagine placing our children at the window of the execution chamber and telling them that this is the way that society is going to learn not to kill people? Such thinking is absurd. Yet, it is the path of our reasoning. The moral implications of these executions should not be lost on anyone. We are declaring who we are.
So, do we choose to honor the memory of the departed by killing? Or, do we choose to honor the memory of the departed by making sure that such killing never happens again? There is no way to stop killing by continuing to kill. This is our moment. Will we become killers too? You see, morality swings both ways.