As a Christian, I speak. As a pastor, I speak. As a chaplain, I speak. As a father, I speak.
Retribution is not justice.
This morning on NPR I heard the story that the legal status of the young man allegedly involved with the Boston Marathon Bombings is in question.
There were soundbites of elected officials calling for this young man to be labeled an “Enemy Combatant.” There was no talk of justice. Only fear. Anger. Apparently, to these men, we need to label this man an “enemy combatant” so that we can do what we need to do in order to get the information we need.
Let me translate that as I heard it: We need to put this man outside of the lauded American Legal System and it’s constitutional rights so that we can torture this young man (a man by no means proven that he planted anything). For what? Retribution? Punishment? Justice?
How does this make us safer?
How does this reflect the “American Values” we love to talk about?
How would torturing this young man demonstrate that we, as a people, are anything other than the hateful people we worry about?
If this young man is a part of a greater terrorist plot, making him scream in pain and anguish gets us no closer to bringing anyone else to justice and the price we pay is losing part of our collective Soul.
Let us be known as a people who seek for understanding, truth, justice, and righteousness rather than angry, willfully ignorant, and myopically focused on “making someone pay” as if that will somehow lessen the pain.
Truth, Justice, and the American Way of Life.
Is this it?