Thursday, August 14, 2008

Showing who we are

I've been responding to a number of things this morning, as is my nature. I've been looking back through them, and pondering them, and even, somewhere, deep in this battered, and scarred heart, praying about them. I'm not a religious man. I'm not one who feels that he has a mandate from god, nor should I. I am simply a man.

I have, however, in the days following my research into the depth and breadth of the problem of the sex offender laws, found a new purpose, a drive, and a fire, a spark of the divine, the inspiration. I've not written thus in many years, since I actually believed in something. Perhaps this is simply the rekindling of my belife speaking through this medium of electrons and bits.

I believe all humans are equal. I believe that no man has the right, or privilege, or power granted to deny this fact, and that no human being should be deprived of their rights for any reason, nor can they. I believe that we as a people are, and must be, people of compassion, love, and forgiveness. We must be people of strong character, strong ideals, and work toward those ideals, while keeping the rights and freedoms of others firmly in our minds.

We must deal with personal responsibility. I am not responsible for the actions of others, but I am responsible for their freedoms, rights, and privileges, by my own actions. Should I infringe upon those rights and freedoms, I am as guilty as any other would be.

We must look out over the world with compassion and caring, with dignity without regard to the circumstances that we have placed ourselves in, or been placed in. With love and compassion, the denial of the judgments placed upon us, we must look out over the world, strong and resolute, to break the chains of hatred, of bigotry, of anger.

To do this we must become angry, but make it a righteous anger, an anger, not with a person as a target, but hate as a target. An anger that moves us, not to attack, but to preserve, defend, and restore. Our hand is a hand of redemption, a hand of restoration, the same as that given by god, and extended to all mankind.

Our rights and powers are given us by that same hand, and imbued within each person is that same divinity. We are not sheep, we are not wolves, we are human. Our frailty and mistakes were as equally built into all, our humanity brings us to the realization and choices that make those mistakes with the best possible knowledge at the time, and brought into action by the emotions, feelings, and knowledge that one has at the time.

I defy any man to say that, in the same situation, the same knowledge, and the same thoughts as any man had at the time of any offense... that they would do different. With the same understandings, that they would change what occurred.

This is why the hand of redemption, justice tempered by mercy, is so utterly important. Incarceration for a time is needful, not to punish, for separation from society is a punishment, but for remediation. It allows one to reflect, ideally, upon what one has lost, and then be re-embraced into the society. And this should be extended, equally, to our opponents... a re-integration, a chance for redemption.

Those that claim themselves Christians and judge... forget that Christ came not for the saved, but for the sinners. He came not to raise the righteous up to heaven, but to extend a hand to the fallen. He came to redeem.. and that redemption again.. was extended to all mankind.

None of us is without sin. All of us have hurt others.. and all of us bear the same personal responsibility to gaze out into the darkness within our soul and defy it. All of us bear the responsibility of our actions, the responsibility for our intrusions on the rights of others, but bear equally the knowledge that humans are fallable, and imperfect.

This is the knowledge from which we fight.. not a knowledge of our perfection, but a knowledge of our imperfection. It is a knowledge, not of our past, but of our future, and that is the knowledge which we must take with us, in any battle, any future. That is the touch of the divine, of whatever god, whatever mind, whatever conscience you believe in.

We are human. Nothing more, nothing less. And that is the greatest thing to be of all.


Magister said...

Tried by Conscience,
That was wonderful. The way you write is beautiful, but the content itself, I couldn't agree more with. The only difference is the twinge it gives me in the pit of my stomach to see God's name not capitalized. Seems like a little thing, but for Christians, its a very big thing.
So often, hate and prejudice has its root in ignorance. We MUST educate. We cannot return anger to simply breeds fear and hatred. As you say, we must teach with love, or at least with a quiet, reasoned voice. Truth DOES bring the light and light DOES banish darkness.
Thank you for your beautiful, true words.

JustaDadatHome said...

I am ashamed to be called an American. If I were traveling in other countries, I would pretend to be from some where else.