Date: February 10, 2019 04:01PM
Life in prison was the sentence just handed down to the murderer of 8 men in Toronto, Canada. He decapitated and dismembered his victims. At least he pleaded guilty, saving the families a painful trial, although still during the sentencing hearing they heard the gruesome evidence of how their loved ones died.
Even for such heinous and numerous crimes he received essentially one life sentence (eight concurrent, rather than consecutive, life sentences). A life sentence in Canada is 25 years before application for parole (although he is unlikely to get it even then). It feels to family members that concurrent sentences would be more just for those they have lost and who suffered so much and ultimately lost their lives and some have expressed dismay and anger.
A pastor who is involved in a vigil tonight for the victims said "It's OK to be angry in response to injustice" - in this case the injustice of the men's fate at the mass murderer's hands as well as the opinion of some family members that the sentence is too lenient, therefore unjust.
It's refreshing to me to hear a religious leader acknowledge that anger can be righteous, an understandable reaction to horror. The usual message I've heard through the years is that it's sinful to feel angry, never mind express it. And doubly so if it's an emotion felt on behalf of oneself. In response, many people squelch down natural reactions of anger, frustration, impatience in the face of injustice and wrongdoing, including myself, and feel guilty if such 'negative' emotions emerge, especially if the situation involves yourself.
It would be much more helpful and realistic if more religious leaders could avoid counselling their followers to constantly squelch themselves and offer wisdom instead about life's difficulties and tragedies. A lot of effort can go into trying to divert one's natural reactions rather than accepting that they're understandable and can be worked through and their presence doesn't mean you're sinful or disobedient or a bad or defective person.
The meek shall inherit the earth. Be peaceable with all [people]. Anger = sin. Acquiesce. Obey. Stay silent.
Such messages can sound poetic in context (Psalms, etc) but are all too often misapplied and used as cudgels over the flock. If a situation calls for it, anger is a normal and understandable response. Too bad the message we often repeatedly hear is that it's wrong, misplaced, inappropriate. Being appropriate was all too often held up, during my forays into various church groups, as a high ideal. Often it's not all that great - in fact, depending on the circumstances, being 'appropriate' could be highly inappropriate. Ssshhhh, don't make waves. What? And let evil abound?
In this case of the mass murderer the judge called him "morally bankrupt" and his actions "pure evil". He showed no remorse at his hearing.
It's OK to be angry. And good to hear a religious leader say it.
Here's a link to an article about the case:https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-bruce-mcarthur-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-with-no-parole-for-25-years/
(Edited for clarity)
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2019 04:23PM by Nightingale.