Do we have the right to kill?

My husband came home last night touched by a story he heard on NPR.  Here’s the link in case you want to read it for yourself.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112892738

In short, it is the story of the struggle to find a vein inside a man scheduled to be executed by lethal injection.

What have we come to?  Who gives us the right to kill in cold blooded pre-meditation? And, if something like this happens where is our sense of wonder about divine intervention? Are we being given the opportunity to ponder our acts and perhaps see where our humanity has gone astray? 

In the comments section of the article, I came across this post.  It holds a pretty powerful mirror to us.  Of course it’s only one side… but it’s one I feel compelled to post here.  

David Gentry-Akin (davidvgentry) wrote:
I have long felt that the death penalty was evil; that it was a sign of the utter bankruptcy of our culture. What does it do the souls of the prison personnel who are asked to participate in such a heinous process? Killing is certainly wrong, but to kill with such cold, calculating premediation cannot but inflict enormous psychic violence on the souls of the people involved. Years ago, the lawyer of a mentally retarded inmate was interviewed on NPR after witnessing the execution of his client. I can still hear him through his tearful sobs, saying that this act ‘diminishes us all’. His words still haunt me. If this is not evil, I do not know what evil is.

David Gentry-Akin
Moraga, California

Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:36:15 AM

I’m haunted by this story. I feel it’s enormous weight on my soul. I want to remain open but can’t find that place where I can support Capital Punishment and still be true to my own self. In what way do I contribute to this reality where there are victims, perpetrators, judges…?

Embracing Life by Embracing Death

Every day people die yet, unless it is someone close to us, we try not to think about it. If it is someone close, we tend to be very sad and often, we find ourselves in a state of turmoil and unable to cope with daily life. We act this way, for the most part, because we are afraid of death. We fear dying and leaving this world without knowing what lies beyond.

Yet, it is only by facing our fears that we can truly live a fulfilled life. Some cultures, past and present, have understood this well. While some people may think that the Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with death by preparing for the afterlife with all their rituals, mummification process and tombs, nothing could be further from the truth. It is because of their firm belief in the afterlife and understanding what they needed to do to get there that they were able to embrace death and, by doing so, not fear  it and live mostly happy and fulfilled lives. They celebrated the rising of the sun daily, they had many holiday festivals celebrating life. They worked and lived with purpose and accepted death as part of life.

If we accept this life as a journey to the next life then death becomes merely a transition to the next part of that journey. By embracing this transition we can overcome our fear and truly embrace this life.

community

At lunch today, it struck me how we only seem to get together around a problem or an issue. 

As a community, lately, we are all concerned about having our particular point of view heard… That is a direct mirror to the fact that my friend and I had not gotten together for lunch until we had some issue that we wanted to fight for.  We both smiled at the realization. 

I want to live in a community that is connected by something bigger.  Maybe a love for our town, maybe a love for our children, our horses, our desert… whatever it is, it has to be something that inspires us to rally together.  For me I’m inspired by the idea that I belong to a community.  So if for me community is at the heart of what I work for, then it will not matter that some members of my community and I disagree.  The gatherings will have a celebratory nature in the getting together.  Whether we agree to disagree in the end becomes less the focus and we concentrate on the fact that we are talking and getting to know each other.  Finding out what is at the heart of the person across from you. 

When two connect, spirit is present.

I wonder how many others are craving the same thing I’m craving.