Usually I remain quiet when it comes to politics and things that are controversial. I am not a very aggressive person and I have a hard time having to defend why I feel certain ways. Call me a coward or a chicken - or even ignorant. Sometimes we believe things because of what we know is right or wrong. Last night I was furious at the comments on facebook. For those of you that are not from Savannah you might not be aware of the execution that was held last night.
In 1989 a police officer, Mark MacPhail, was murdered while intervening an assault that was going on near his work. Troy Davis was arrested for the murder and in 1991 he was sentenced to death. For 20 years so much has been going on with witnesses recounting statements, appeals, etc - all the while Davis has held onto his plea of not guilty. Regardless of the details we may or may not know the sentence remained the same and last night around 11PM Troy Davis became the 52nd person to be executed in the state of Georgia. Over a million people signed a petition for the GA Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Davis clemency - and it was denied.
So - for those of you who did not know the story - there is a brief summary of the events.
Last night so many were on pins and needles as to whether the execution was going to be held and rants of FREE Troy Davis (you may even remember "Pants on the Ground" man wearing a button during his AI tryout) were either applauded or met with snarky remarks. At some point I think people lost what they were trying to fight for and it became a fight about something else. It no longer became a fight to free a man whom some believed to be innocent, but it turned into the age old issue we seem to have in the south. It became about race. Never can there be an argument when a black and white are involved together that it does not turn into an argument about race. It is sad - really sad. Here we are in 2011 and still we have not evolved in our thinking or evolved in seeing people for more than a skin color.
I won't go into detail about how I feel about the race issue at this point because it probably would not offend people, but I know how words can be used against me and I do not want to be backed into a corner having to defend the way I feel. What I will say is this: the change starts with each one of us. I know there is a mentality of an older generation that will be there until they die. When they die why not let the ignorance of color and race die with them? Why continue to let the cycle bring us down. It can stop with us if we let it and we can win the battle of all equality over mankind. If we keep having the attitude of "it will never change" then you are right, things will never change and we should all be given a swift kick in the gut for letting our attitude get the best of us.
Another piece that set me off in this whole ordeal was the misquoting and misuse of scripture. That and the fact that some of those were in favor of freeing Davis were throwing the "I thought you were Christians" comments at those wanting Davis to be executed. First I would like to comment about the last sentence I wrote. Being a Christian does not make you free from sin nor does it mean you make the right choices. It is about your relationship with Christ and your desire to follow Him. Yes, you are to desire to be like Christ in all ways - through actions, words, and thoughts - and the more you grow in your relationship with Christ the more you change as a person. To be a Christian means to follow Christ, to desire Him, to fellowship with Him, to be indwelt by Him, and to bring glory to Him in your life.
Secondly, so many claim to be Christians when their lives show nothing about Christianity. Sometimes those people can be the most dangerous of all. These people know a verse here and there and try to use them when it fits their need. Last night so many people were reciting verses from the Old Testament to validate their "religion of Christianity" and validate the reason why it was okay to execute Troy Davis. What I believe is that Jesus Christ took the place of the Old Testament laws. HE died for our sins and according to chapter 5 in the book of Matthew we are to turn the other cheek when wrong is done to us. So, those using the "eye for an eye" verses to validate your reasoning should do some more research. When trying to interpret a verse you cannot just read one verse and try to apply it, you must read the verses before and after - and even cross reference - in order to fully understand what a verse means.
I have mixed emotions about the death penalty and sometimes I do not know if I believe in it or not. I do not know how it is decided that one person who murders dies and another person who murders is allowed to live. I do not know if Troy Davis committed murder - none of us know for sure except those that were there. God knows and in reality that is all that matters.
Friday Fellowship - Jenna Buettemeyer
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