Monday, February 16, 2009

Emotional fallout

The emotional fall out from the natural disasters that have befallen Australians in the past few weeks have been as variable as the disasters themselves.
With the arrest of an arsonist responsible for one of the fatal fires, anger and hatred seem to be the over riding emotions. That is human nature. People in grief experience anger as well as depression, denial, shock, bargaining and even physical symptoms.
For those who have suffered loss these things are normal and will eventually fade.
I have a problem with the fact that so many who have not suffered personally, and particularly the media, get on the band wagon and incite more anger and more hatred.
  • They don't have the excuse of personal loss to justify their emotive outbursts.
  • It's really a bit selfish too, because it distracts attention from those who need it - the real victims.
  • Instead, those shouting the loudest with the most hateful invective become the focus of attention.
  • And it's counter productive because it gives the perpetrators more fame and attention, even if it is in a negative way.
  • It doesn't help the victims move on either, but keeps pulling them back to the anger stage of their grief.

Doesn't our human dignity mean that, no matter what is done to us, we are not beasts? We don't repay in kind, because that would cause all humanity to degenerate to the lowest level.

We don't treat criminals with sadistic torture (even if we think they deserve it), because to do so lowers us to their level or worse. We are made in God's image, even though a bit tarnished. To act with violence and hatred would be a disgrace to that image, wouldn't it? It would also be to take authority away from God. Vengeance is his prerogative alone. I prefer it that way because only he knows the whole story. Only he is entirely just.


  1. Yes, I agree. And this is why I could never support the death penalty regardless of what the person did. I think I was the only person in the whole world who thought Saddam should have not been executed. God created him and loved him and, despite all the bad he did, only God had the right to end his life.

    So am I weird?

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