Passover. Good Friday. Naturally, in some parts of the world people’s thoughts turn to religion.
Some believe today marks a day of self-sacrifice, the ultimate gift given to spare sinful man.
Which has me thinking about something. Free will and predestination. I’ve heard over and over how Jesus was born for a purpose, to fulfill God’s will, to die on the cross and atone for our sins.
Which is not the point of my post. Whatever you believe, whatever I think, religion is not the point - not even remotely.
It’s just that certain times of year, I’m more likely to think about certain things. Like at Christmas, I think of family, of giving, of warm fireplaces and gingerbread cookies. That’s all. Thought by association.
But there’s a bit more to it today, for me.
Some of you may be aware that last weekend, the bodies of 8 people were found in a field in southern Ontario. It is considered Ontario’s worst mass murder in history. The media are ecstatic to have something so sensational to write about.
Unlike some murder enquiries, justice has come swiftly. Arrests have been made. A theory of the crime is known. Organized crime. Why, yes, Canada does have crime. Even shocking crime.
Reading this article was what actually clinched if for me that I would have a little rant about this today, because it made me angry. A profile of one of the accused, the people who knew her saying:
"She was a good girl. She had a lot of cats. She had a heart of gold…. Customers requested her. Everyone thought she was a very nice girl, up to this."
"When you looked at him, you knew he had been into some kind of trouble in the past…"
"I think Kerry(the accused murderer) just kind of got caught up in what was going on. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong guy."
Boy, I want such understanding people to be on my jury.
It gets better. Then this astute commentary covers the ridiculous statements of a judge that gave a 27-year-old mother who smothered her baby a conditional sentence with no jail time.
(The Judge) said she saw no need to send Selena Odette Stevenson to jail, even though the woman knowingly killed her own baby.
Putting her behind bars would only harm the woman's chances at rehabilitation, the judge said.
"All seem to agree incarceration would serve no purpose at all ... I share that view," said McCawley (the judge).
No purpose at all? How about the long-standing sentencing principles of general deterrence and denunciation?
How about the Criminal Code's requirement that sentences be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime? Did McCawley rip those pages out of her copy of the Criminal Code?
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
No matter what anyone believes in the great religious debate about free will vs predestination, in the world we live in, we operate on free choice. People make decisions. They take action.
And they’re supposed to face the consequences of their actions.
Instead, we’ve got judges and friends dismissing their crimes. “She just fell in with the wrong crowd.”
Hello! She participated in the murders of 8 people! I don’t care if they were drug dealers, pimps or lawyers, that’s still wrong. We still have laws.
And a mother, a 27-year-old mother, gets off for killing her child.
A defenseless newborn baby.
Does that child’s life not count because they didn’t know what they were going to miss? Or what are we saying? Any 16-year-old will get hugs and Kleenex for doing likewise, because certainly if a 27-year-old woman isn’t responsible, what can we expect of teenagers?
This is completely fucked up.
Sure, there are mitigating circumstances that do change our interpretations of crime. There are times you can feel sorry for someone driven to murder.
But we’re sending a message to our society that nothing you do is your fault anymore. Have a good excuse, a bad influence, a bit of fear, and you can literally get away with murder.
Let's see if I understand how the world works lately...
If a man cuts his finger off while slicing salami at work, he blames the restaurant.
If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer, your family blames the tobacco company.
If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, he blames the bartender.
If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.
If your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.
I must have lived too long to understand the world as it is anymore.
So, if I die while my old, wrinkled butt is parked in front of this computer, I want you to blame Bill Gates...okay? (And Steve Jobs too, because I use a Mac.)
Maybe, just maybe, if we all started taking more responsibility to hold people to account for their actions, we wouldn’t have kids taking guns to schools. We’d have a few less murderers on the street.
How am I making such a jump, you ask?
You get these kids going to school, scared of being beaten on every single day, the teachers doing nothing, the parents of the aggressive children refusing to even acknowledge their child has a problem.
It’s something I saw in my work. A few years back, when I was working with teenagers that were abuse victims, and had to deal with a sexual assault. And all anybody wants to hear is that the kids are getting better. Not that there’s still a problem.
What really burns me? Thousands of anti-abortion activists will be out there ‘fighting the good fight’ against doctors and people seeking abortions, and who’s standing up for this infant that was suffocated and dropped into a dumpster?
Clearly, not the judge.
And it’s time for someone to stand up and say the guilty should be punished.
Or all we’re doing is endorsing a lawless society where anything can be dismissed because of unfortunate circumstances.