The biblical sins of the fathers

So it’s been 7 days since the Eric Garner decision came down, and this piece of video has been hanging on me. I probably have watched it a total of 20 times? Maybe more… When you get through the Arby’s joke, and “F” Bombs, Jon’s frustration is evident. Exasperation is probably a better term…

It’s how I feel… Just Aaarrrrrgggghhhhhh…. Here’s why…

What happened in Ferguson is a police officer shot a teenager… There are conflicting reports to who did what, self defense, he rushed the police officer, was he turning around to surrender… And I believe it’s all bad! But all I see is a family who had a loved one taken away too soon, and a police officer who’s life has been drastically changed and will probably never be “normal” again because of this moment in his life.

And in the Eric Garner case, I have watched the video… The man resisted arrest, but he didn’t fight… He was down on the ground, but the police officer didn’t let go… Once again a family lost a loved one, and a group of police officers lives have changed…

See what I did there…? I didn’t mention black, i didn’t mention white. These are people, they are human beings… ALL of them! Were mistakes made, yes i believe so, by all parties involved…

But what pains me, what shakes me, what I feel in my soul… Is that the conversation around these events is all wrong… I am not naive, I know there are race issues in the United States… We are only roughly 55 years separated from the start of the civil rights movement, our country is only 229 years old!

I am a West Wing nut, in the episode “315 Dead Irish Writers” the character Lord John Marbury and Toby have an exchange…

Lord Marbury : “The darkness in our sunshine, the shadow in our souls, the biblical sins of the fathers. For Americans, it’s slavery. Slavery is your original sin. That and your unfortunate history with your aborigines.”
Toby : “Native Americans.”
Lord Marbury : “For the English, it’s Ireland.”

“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Why can’t we get past the labels, why can’t we get past “our past”, why can’t see each other for what we are…? We are God’s children, we are the human race…

Do I have answers, no… Do I believe we will get there some day, I have to… It’s what I have been praying for these last 7 days…

…john

One thought on “The biblical sins of the fathers

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  1. We live in the greatest country on earth. However, the systems and polices of our society are human created and managed so an environment for imperfections exist, especially when corrupt and deeply flawed individuals are inserted in a system that deals with a criminal element. No doubt issues have popped up from the cases in Ferguson and New York, and those issues should and must be addressed. More specifically how law enforcement and the justice system deals with the black community. My frustration with the narrative day to day is what’s missing from the overall discussion and I believe the root of the problem. And it’s not seeded in race relations. Our country was founded on certain principles. Those primary principles from the founding fathers included LAWS and RESPECT for the LAW. And the fear of God. When you move away from those foundations, bad things happen. As JT said yes, families lost loved ones and policeman’s lives did change forever. But what makes this profoundly tragic for me is it did not have to happen. Both of these men would be alive today if they had not broken the LAW. And furthermore and most important, demonstrated disrespect for law enforcement when they were engaged for breaking the law. The original laws broken in both cases were minor, but the result became serious when these men showed disrespect for officers with the responsibility to uphold the law. No doubt, from time to time, and perhaps in these cases, law enforcement will make bad decisions (whether intentional or unintentional) and so will the courts. We should come together as a society and identify what’s wrong with the American justice system, and say “yes” to work on fixing or improving it. But we’ve got to say “no” that the systems guilty or to blame every time when terrible consequences occur during the apprehension of persons who are suspicious of breaking the law or have committed a crime. In my opinion, the origin of both men’s fate in Ferguson and New York and the ensuing aftermath is traced to their decision to break the LAW. Remove that one single element, no matter how big or small the crime, and there is NO incident in either city. And then the aftermath of possible injustice for these men becomes mute. And to JT’s point, I echo we are all God’s children, and we’ve must move past black and white in every aspect of our lives. Treat each other with dignity and respect. Fear God and obey the laws of the land.

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