Sunday, May 3, 2015

Like a River

This whole Freddie Gray case sickens me. I mean yes the riots, yes the cop hate, yes definitely the potentiality that a guy was killed unjustly by police- but even more the comments in my newsfeed by people I know and even larger the disgusting comments on conservative sites following articles .

I absolutely hate the race card and immediately called bull on the ferguson narrative . This case has messy edges, the scenario isn't easily defined . What I've mostly heard is from the cops own testimony  they had an unlawful pursuit and arrest.

He looked a cop in the eye so he dies? And people are all outraged that others (not the rioters bc their behavior invalidates their opinion) just normal people online, in their communities wherever are alarmed that a young man- whatever his background, his color, his record whatever - a human being - ends up with his spine severed In a police van.

The report put out by the prosecutions office says the police reports say they basically hog tied the guy, put him on his belly on the floor and left him with no means to stop himself bashing into the back of the van as he was unrestrained.

How is that ok? Is it ok bc he's black? Or bc he was a rap sheet? Bc he did drugs? Bc he dealt them?

I'm just curious bc all I see on these sites is that he deserved it- without any evidence . Yet when anyone postulates that maybe JUST MAYBE cops were wrong in this scenario they're pelted with all kinds of abuse.

I'm sorry but I don't live in a reality where every police officer is perfect, out to serve and protect and sacrifice. I think most are. I hope most are. But reality is there are bad people in every group in life. No one gets a pass bc they wear a badge, or priestly vestments or a stethoscope or chalk stained hands.

The truth is the professions we hold in highest regard are going to have bad people in them- bc they're everywhere. We don't blindly disregard horrible behavior or even the thought that certain segments of society are exempt from wrongdoing just bc of the profession they're in.

People will willingly jump to "these cops are blameless" without any back history on them. Just because they're police.

And yet they are hard fast in their belief that Freddie Gray not only was guilty (for what do we know yet? Looking at a cop and then running is all I've heard so far. Neither are crimes) by knowing just as little truth and detail about his life and his circumstances that evening.

Do I think the cops are absolutely guilty- no not all the evidence is in but I will say my stomach turns by this narrative we have so far. I could stomach for sure a shooting easier than I could what went on. Shootings can happen in a split second - and while many of those are still unlawful by cops , I can see mistakes being made  with a gun. This is more sinister and calculated and prolonged. It stinks of intent- to harm. To kill? Probably not but that doesn't excuse their actions, just like if you or I intend to just hurt someone but instead kill them, our actions aren't excused.

Freddie Gray deserved death, say the OVERWHELMING consensus on these sites.
Why? Well they don't say because he's black, but how can someone, even someone like me who strains her eyes eye rolling so hard anytime the race card is played, ignore the fact that assigning guilt onto a person WITH ZERO EVIDENCE THUS FAR sounds a bit fishy.  I'mnot going to say racist because we all know how that works up the self righteousness in people "gasp no not I ! " so fishy. We will go with fishy.

Even people I know to proclaim to be Christians. People who have been forgiven much. With nothing . Free . Totally free grace and forgiveness. They deem him worthy to die without trial and whatever evidence against the cops or whatever evidence against Freddie. He should've died like a dog . Been put down because , you know, he had. A rap sheet.

Oh ok. That's how we do justice now?

I am SO glad that legally that isn't how we arrive on guilt innocence and punishment in society. Or American society, so far.
I am even more glad that this isn't how we are judged by God for our lives . In righteousness terms- we all have rap sheets and we add to them daily. Daily.

I'm so glad the proclaiming Christians who say Freddie should have died , Deserved it definitely ,  That the cops are 100 percent innocent and should've killed him and should get off bc they're scape goats to appease rioters (you know those awful people in projects ugh ...) and killing people is fine if you know they have a past . Or even a dirty present. They deserve to die. No trial needed. It's justified . I'm so glad they aren't judged for their litany of sins, indulgent gluttony, shoddy shady thieving business practices, general mistreatment of people, gossip, slander, lying spirits to the point where it's not just a lie it's their lifestyle and what just emanates from their mouths, for their porn addictions, lust, affairs, anger, hate, malice, envy , division causing, judge mental attitudes , self righteousness, their own drunkeness and addictions- I am sure glad those Christians aren't judged by their rap sheets and past and their continued sinning by the same measure they are saying Freddie gray and ostensibly anyone like him should be judged.

Am I saying the justice system work like Gods grace . No. Obviously. But for those who like to twist or have a hard time connecting coherent points- I am saying those quickest to judge someone is worthy to die in the street are the same ones who claim what they do is all forgiven in the blood. ( which it is ) . How quick to claim we are undeserving of our just deserts in the eternal while determining in the earthly realm that law doesn't need to be followed by police or others if it ends in the demise of someone with a rap sheet.

I'm not even saying Freddie wasn't doing anything- even though thus far that's what police reports tell us. Maybe he was dealing like everyone wants to say. Punishment for that is still not death. Not even if he had made it to trial- that wouldn't have been an option.

Finally, the most sickening (maybe -it's hard to rate the vileness of these attitudes)  it's not fair to deem him a "worthless POS" which is the number one characterization I see.

Everyone has inherent worth. You don't get to determine they don't so I am not even discussing it.

I know several former "worthless POS" drug users and drug dealers . A couple of them found Jesus in jail . One woke up passed out in snow and realized she probably should've died and went to church and found Jesus. They're all pastors now working in churches - and not the comfy kind of Christianity - but the gritty get out there like Jesus and actually DO something style of Christianity . The real kind. And I know many many other former drug users. And they're all some of the very best people I have had the pleasure to meet.

And yet. According to a disgustingly and alarmingly large segment of our population (a population that overwhelmingly identifies as Christian) they should've been put down in the street. Long before they cleaned up. Before they had a chance to straighten up their lives . Before their chance to do all the good they currently are working hard to do.

Before the chance of redemption.

None of us have a right to deny someone their chance of redemption.

"Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream" - God 

Whether Christian or not, we don't have that right. Whether a spiritual redemption or a just in this worldly sense of changing their ways and not breaking the law, of getting clean. It doesn't matter. We don't get to determine that someone should be dead just because he was on the street and may or may not have done something. In this country people get trials to allot punishment. In the spiritual realm we just have to accept grace.
Everyone has the right to experience both those things.

Whether Freddie Gray dealt drugs in his past or whether he was dealing that minute . Unless (and there is zero to say he was ) he was endangering someone at that second - he did not deserve to be killed or put in danger.

Nor did you or I in all the things we have done.

(And disclaimer for the simple minded who will want to say this means I support the riots or the killing of cops. Obviously not. I'm sorry you have no way of wading through slightly complex issues that have more than one facet to weigh) 

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

- Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have A Dream Speech"

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