Thursday, January 04, 2007


Another Execution

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, as I was alone in the office, a man appeared in the doorway. I stepped out from behind my desk to greet him and promptly got an earful. He wanted to let me know that he was totally for the death penalty, and his only concern with it was that killers were not executed in the same fashion as they killed their victims. He told me that we, at TCASK, were just plain wrong to be opposed to the death penalty. I simply stood there and listened. He then made a quick exit but not before letting me know that he was thrilled that Saddam Hussein had been hung. I didn't respond at all except to wish him a good day, figuring that with the anger he had just demonstrated, he could use one.

My heart ached a bit when I sat back down at my desk as I pondered the horrible things that human beings do to each other and the level of pain we continue to inflict. I was at my parents' home when the special report interrupted the TV show I was watching to say that Saddam Hussein had been executed. I was chilled to the bone by the news, but my reaction had little to do with Saddam himself. Clearly, Hussein had no regard for human life and perpetrated countless atrocities during his reign of terror in Iraq. He flaunted his unchecked power and eliminated anyone who dared cross him. Bottom line, he was not a nice guy.

And yet, as I saw him in the film footage, escorted by men in black hoods to the gallows, I could only shake my head as I knew that his death would accomplish nothing more than another addition to the body count in the continued escalation of violence in Iraq; one more death in the human struggle to establish justice through vengeance; one more body to bury, changing nothing of the past and further dehumanizing those who participate in such killing.

The next day, I gathered at the little country church of my childhood for worship. My 96 year old great-uncle spoke about the execution of Hussein. I have learned to listen closely when a man who has lived for 96 years speaks! In his West Tennessee drawl he said, "I didn't care much for that Hussein one way or t'other, but I don't see what good killin' him done. Today, folks are still gettin' killed over there, and not one thing is solved."

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Comments :
Now more Americans have died in Iraq than in 9/11. And countless more people other than the Americans in the region have been killed for Democracy. Seems like the execution of Hussien was somewhat anti-climatic and senseless and really pointed out the futility of the effort sadly. Our society has quite a few folks like the fellow that stopped by to share his hate. Your reaction was Christian and did more good than any arguement. Sorry you had to endure that though.
You may only be one voice, one act of kindness toward those who hate but that's what it's all about.
you may never know what impact your reaction to this person voicing his opinion made in his mind, but it has certainly made an impact in mine. i don't know that i would have handled such a situation with as much grace and understanding. thank you for this and for all of your hard work.
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