“It’s a hell of a thing killin’ a man, take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.” - Will Munny (Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven)
There is something reprehensible about using the death of a human being to endorse a philosophical point of view or score brownie points on a particular political platform.
Every time I see a reference to Omar Mateen, the Orlando killer, it mentions an American born of Afghan parents.
Why is that necessary or relevant?
Is it to imply that immigration is somehow responsible for the devastation in Orlando?
Is it to draw your focus to immigrants?
So this confirms what some people have always believed that if we restrict immigration, especially from the Middle East, we will somehow become automatically safer, notwithstanding Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy, Ted Kaczyinski, John Wayne Gacy, Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris or Adam Lanza.
Oddly enough, no mention is ever made of their heritage when discussing their crimes.
People, for good or bad, are just people and where one hails from does not guarantee anything. Evil is resident in every human heart. The Bible declares that the heart of man is desperately wicked, not only the heart of the Mexican or the Muslim.
The book HOLA America goes to great lengths to express that idea with life stories of actual immigrants who did not come here to slaughter you.
Indeed one of the motivating factors in typical immigration is that people move so that they can live, not cultivate death, to survive and experience a brighter day.
Death, moving swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, comes soon enough for each one of us. We must not rejoice that “they sowed what they reaped.” We must not find delight in “they got what they deserved.” May I remind all of us that sin and evil unrestrained have no boundaries or limitations? The next time it could be one of us in the crosshairs of a crazed gunman.
We must decide is this the kind of nation we want to be—us against them.
We, as ethical, rational human beings, should be appalled at such a heinous crime. We are all diminished by that unspeakable act by one of our kind in that city adjacent to the “happiest place on earth.”
The Fear of Death
The primary reason people despise death is that there are no second chances.(Hence the reason why so many people are drawn to Christianity—the belief in a resurrection and the tantalizing prospect of eternal life without pain, suffering, worry or woe.)
Everything is so final and people are so terrified of the end of anything.
Your sunset means you will never see another sunrise.
You will never see a flower in bloom or turn over a new leaf.
You will never hear a newborn baby cry.
You will never experience a human touch or feel the embrace of a warm hug.
You will never again hear the words, “I love you or forgive me.”
You will never have the opportunity to do anything anew or better the next time.
You will go to the grave with all your regrets, all your intentions unrealized, all your hopes dashed and all your dreams crushed.
Everything related to you grinds to a screeching, permanent halt and all your plans are dropped. That is why some people decry all kinds of executions, publicly authorized or privately motivated, because they represent the cessation of all possibilities. Death is total eradication of all potential—all hope for change or correction eliminated forever.
Therein lies the tragedy of the recent events in Orlando, Fl.
No matter where you fall on the side of the debate relative to their lifestyle or whose hands caused it, this is undeniable. They were someone’s beloved son or daughter.
One man in a fit of rage unilaterally decided that 49 people did not deserve to live. We will never know his aim or inspiration, we can only guess at his motivation.
Did he consider himself an avenging angel—the sword of the Lord? Did he regard the victims as so much vermin, a blight on humanity, trash that had to be disposed of to cleanse the planet?
Were they beyond redemption, unfit for salvation and should be summarily dismissed from the face of the earth?
Assuming the godlike position as master of the universe, he became their judge and executioner.
Here is another chilling thought. For Christians death by adverse, unfair circumstances does not give one a free pass, offer up mitigating circumstances or merit consideration in the eternal court before the Supreme Judge.
The Finality of Death
If a man dies without Jesus he has just received a blow from which he will never recover. Then those people are lost forever, all hope drained away on the blood soaked floor of the Pulse nightclub.
We will never know for sure if one man did not deny 49 people the chance of a lifetime.
There is just something obscene and unconscionable about that.
They will never have the opportunity to repent and start over again.
V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.