Monday, October 15, 2012

Forgive My Trespasses

What can we learn about humanity from this man? When he felt secure from consequences, he behaved despicably. If you have not read the article linked above, I will quote the most damning portion for you:

-- In a phone conversation, Brutsch admitted to being the Reddit user named Violentacrez, who created or moderated sections dedicated to pornographic and violent images, including subreddits called r/rapebait, r/incest, r/picsofdeadkids, r/jailbait, and r/chokeabitch. --

None of these sections targeted the guilty. All attacked the innocent, often
those already brutalized. How did bereaved parents feel about r/picsofdeadkids? Yet, now that he has been uncovered, he pleads for mercy and forbearance. He, in his guilt, demands from us what he failed to provide to his innocent victims.

Clearly, part of his problem lies in an inability to understand the feelings and suffering of others. He is fully cognizant of his own pain, even of his wife's; but strangers are just targets to him. They are not members of the human race. They are just things to be hurt and wounded for his amusement. A good, if limited case, could be made for the progress of humanity as a steadily expanding pool of those we regard as "us".

Consider the Fox News/GOP effort to label Obama as "other". He is a socialist, communist, fascist, Kenyan, anticolonial, nauseum. During both world wars, formerly Germans living in the United States were suddenly Krauts, Huns, whatever. Children on the playground use epithets they don't even understand to dehumanize playmates with whom they are angry. (There is a great story about this from Dick Gregory. I will tell it some time in the future.)

If we are dealing with The Other, it is easy to be cruel and brutal. This is why many languages use a variant of "The People" as their name for themselves. Epithets are a license. They authorize the user to commit acts which he, himself, regards as disgusting, if they are done to other people.

To sum it up, I refer to the following Scripture:

Matthew 18: 23 - 35

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