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Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

18
Aug

giving grace, even to the anthony’s

They’re missing, murdered, abducted and sold.  Children all over the planet are victimized day in and day out.   Few victims are recovered alive, and that’s what is so desperately upsetting, unbearable for the families, and loved ones waiting and hoping for what must seem like forever.

Often it is forever.

Jennifer Kesse, missing since 1/24/06

Caylee Anthony was also a victim, but of murder.

Recently, Drew Kesse, father of the beautiful Jennifer Kesse, missing from Orlando Florida since January 24, 2006, lambasted George and Cindy Anthony in the press for their actions.

Kesse, responding to Hal Boedeker’s Orlando Sentinel Blog regarding the Anthony’s upcoming appearance on the Dr. Phil show, calling Dr. Phil “a pimp for this garbage,” referring to the Anthony’s.

Kesse was uber critical, writing that Caylee was never a missing child, she was a murdered child.  The Anthony’s, he said, should “Go away, go far away, please.”  He also wrote:

Let’s get one thing straight right now, Dr. Phil, you are a pimp for this garbage.  The Anthonys and this new foundation are the biggest insults to every missing person in America today. Dr. Phil, after the show airs and you make a donation to their new scam, have on real families of the missing.

Of course, it’s true that Caylee was never missing, and the Anthony’s are not, and have never been the picture of propriety or trust.  However, I don’t think it was necessary for Drew Kesse to so publicly beat on the Anthony’s.  The fact is, the Anthony’s lost the love of their life – Caylee was probably the only joy in their life.

And so, I think it is cruel to knock the Anthony’s down further than they already are.  What’s the point?  Who are the Anthony’s hurting?  Will our sympathy be less for missing children if George and Cindy bring attention to their plight?

It’s as if people think missing children will be thought of with some kind of disregard if the Anthony’s are involved in helping this cause.  How does that make sense?  What ever happened to the sentiment of “live and let live?”   What about “turn the other cheek?”  Or, do we only respect the sentiment of “an eye for an eye?”   God help us if we do.

It is never good, in my humble opinion, to attack another person, especially to make them suffer!  Why extend cruelty?  It’s one thing to criticize, quite another thing to attack and hate. The Anthony’s were always their own worst enemies, why make it worse?  They’ve done a pretty good job screwing up their own lives and don’t need our help.

The Anthony’s want to work for the cause of missing children.  And that is because, they wanted to believe Caylee was missing, they did not want to face the truth, even though I am certain they always knew the truth, of course they didn’t want to face it.

People do funny things when overtaken by the kind of grief they were faced with.   How would you react if your granddaughter was murdered by your only daughter? Granted, most of us are law-abiding and trusting that law enforcement will act with good faith, but the Anthony’s never trusted – they seemed to think they were above the law, which was tragic for them, in the end.

If I were in their shoes, I would surely be out of my mind with grief and would probably make many mistakes, too.  Many would.  Especially in the glare of the camera.

Isn’t it time to leave this family alone?  Sure, they are not honest; sure they lied on the witness stand; sure, they tampered with evidence, and yes, they did so many things that were on the verge of scandalous.    You know what their real crime is, in my opinion?  They are only human.

I have been terribly critical of the Anthony’s leading up to the trial of their daughter, Casey Anthony.  It is time to forgive and forget – time for me, anyway.

The Anthony’s undoing resulted because they put the spot light on themselves, and we saw an intense dysfunction that we couldn’t turn away from.  Seeing the Anthony’s mistakes and misdeeds reminded many of us that our lives were pretty sane in comparison.

That makes me think, there but for the grace of God go I.

11
Aug

a DCF report in the Anthony case concludes….

Today, a Department of Children and Families (DCF) report was released with regards to the death of Caylee Marie Anthony.  The DCF called Casey Anthony responsible for the “Maltreatments of Death, Threatened Harm, and Failure to Protect.”   Their 12-page report itemized the neglectful responsibility which led to the death of Caylee:

Anthony’s actions were “neglectful.”  She failed to “report her child missing in a timely manner” and left her in the care of “a baby-sitter for which she was unable to provide accurate information.

The report stopped short at naming how Caylee died since the autopsy report concluded it was not possible to determine the cause of death.

Here is a link to the report: Department of Children and Families (DCF) report.

Reading this report tonight, with its details and thorough timeline of events, once again brought back my feeling that the jury in the case against Casey Anthony, completely failed to do their civic duty for Caylee, the victim.

This jury took the easy way out by deciding to err on the side of caution and vote Not Guitly.

Well, after all, they did not have adequate time to debate the facts of the case because they sure wanted out of Dodge .  This jury had cruises to go on; there were children to get home to, animals to care for; jobs to return to, and lives to live.  There was no time to consider the evidence since they knew in their heart that they had all the doubt that the defense dumped on them.  All the cow manure that was shoveled in their lap by the defense team, made no difference.  (Even cow manure has value, they may have concluded.)

Did they try to reason with one another by concluding, “A dead child will still be dead whether Casey walks or faces death?”   Apparently they never heard Dr. G. say Caylee’s death was homicide.   Did they only hear, “death by an undetermined means,” and in their warped conclusions, “undetermined means” meant “homicide” was not proven?

The people on this jury were just plain lazy.  They all decided that there were too many unanswered questions.  Had they taken the time to weigh the KNOWN facts of the case (evidence), against what they felt was UNKNOWN, you would think the pile of the knowns would exceed the pile of unknowns.  Right?

Who drove the car with the smell of death?  Who had the most to gain from Caylee’s death?  Who was the primary care-giver during the time of Caylee’s “disappearance?”   Just those three things, by themselves, tell a damning tale about responsibility.

So, this DCF report brought my anger out, again.

Soon the jurors names will be released to the public.  No doubt they will be bombarded with questions and comments. I have no desire to hear from them.

I hope these jurors will slink away and stay clear of the limelight.  I hope they’ve each come to the realization that it’s not a good idea to profit from their jury experience in this case.

Casey Anthony was just voted the most hated person in America.  The individual jury members may well join her on the list should they not choose to go gentle into that good night.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
  ~Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

It is difficult now to go back and think about the trial and its outcome in light of this report.  It only serves to remind us that justice did not happen for Caylee, but it did for Casey.

I can’t live with anger.  Holding on to any anger over what happened only hurts me.

I guess all that’s left is to forgive and forget (in between the times when I cringe and want to cry).

16
Jul

good-bye casey

Casey Anthony will be a free woman in a few hours, in less than a day.

After being reviled, attacked, practically ripped apart physically while out on bond; having spent over three years in confinement – solitary confinement, she has survived.

I would go so far as to say, she has to be a pretty strong individual to have withstood all of what she’s gone through.

I don’t know if I could have stayed as resolute as Casey has in the face of such public scrutiny.  She has not moved from the one big lie about what happened to Caylee.  She denied, denied and denied it all until Jose Baez told us that Caylee’s death was a drowning accident, the result of which snowballed out of control.

Of course no one believes that – correction, the jury believed it. But, that’s another story for another day.

I could not possibly know what it must feel like to be in Casey Anthony’s shoes.  To have been in jail….. Then again, I have never killed another human being.

Are we all capable of killing?  Many people say, yes, we could.  Given the right circumstance, anyone could kill.  I don’t agree.  I don’t think we all are built or capable to kill.  Most of us could not and would not.

Perhaps if you grew up with violence in the home, or if you grew up with guns, or if you were trained as a soldier, you could.  But, most people are not built to kill, thankfully.

Personally I am a rag doll when faced with danger – I freeze.  And the knowledge that I become crippled in the face of danger, scares me.  I have no defense.  I can’t run either because my knees won’t let me.

Once, quite a number of years ago, when confronted by a peeping tom who was just ten feet away, on my patio, I tried to scream but noting came out of my mouth!

I moved my mouth and tried to yell to get my mom’s attention, but couldn’t.  Then, moments later, my mom saw me.   She took one look at me and saw my terror.  Her head shot in the direction I was looking.  She immediately flew, as fast as a bird, to the sliding glass door and yelled: ‘GET OUT OF HERE!” in a voice so frantic and loud that the guy ran like the devil!

By the time the police arrived, not five minutes later, my mom’s voice was already gone. She’d hurt her vocal chords so badly from that “GET OUT HERE!” that it took a couple of days to regain her voice.

If he hadn’t been behind that glass door, she would have attacked him.  My mom is five feet tall, less than 100 pounds, but she would have killed him to protect me.

I don’t know what it feels like to kill someone, especially someone I love.  I can’t go there in my mind – it’s a place that I can’t bear to contemplate for even a second.  My mind just will not go there.  It must be sanity that keeps my mind from being able to go there, even for a second.

People who kill must be able to go to a place in their mind where they know they could kill.  Do you think that maybe people who kill are born knowing they can kill?

We don’t want killers in society.  We don’t want them walking free among us.   As people of America, we have a system of laws that keep the good people free; the bad people locked away.

That’s what the law says should happen.  The good are free, the bad guys are locked away, right?

No, it’s not so black and white.

There are innocent people in jail right now as I write this, and there are guilty people who are free and committing other crimes as I write this, too.

What can we do about it?   Well we can guard against the bad guys and the killers in our society.  We can take precautions to keep them away from us – lock our car doors, stay in “safe” sections of our communities, put alarms in our homes, carry guns, knives or mace, put bars on our homes.

We do any number of things to keep evil out. But when the evil is within the home, that’s a whole new conundrum that begs for a solution where there often is none.

I know someone, in her 50’s now, who was terrorized from the time she was a young child until the time she got away from her family, at the age of 19. The terrorist was her own brother.

This family, the mother and father, and her, were terrorized by her own brother.  And not a single thing was done to stop it.

He would rage in the home, throw the mother against a wall when the father was gone, kick and throw things at her. He’d terrorize the young girl, pick her up and shake her, scream at her until she’d wet their pants, bang on bedroom doors in the middle of the night, screaming like a maniac at the family.  He held a butcher’s knife on every one of them at one time or another and not a single thing was done to stop it.

It was the 1960’s in a backwards community in rural Tennessee. You see, “Good” people kept their dirty laundry inside the home then. “Good” people were just that, “good,” and they wanted to keep their reputations “good,” too.

This family would never disturb the facade of “goodness” they enjoyed in their neighborhood.  Calling the authorities on their own son was unheard of.  In the 1960’s this did not happen, they thought.  They only knew that families protected their own and kept up appearances.

The son could have killed them all, they knew it, but they did nothing until they just couldn’t stand it anymore and threw him out.  They heard later that he joined the marines.  Yes, this maniac was “good” material for the war in Vietnam.

He survived the Marines and Vietnam, but came home even more violent.

In the 1970’s things were different, especially after Vietnam.  He never returned home but to visit.  He was a drug addict.  But the family had changed the locks and he eventually stopped bothering his family.

He eventually became such a bad drug addict that he killed himself in a drug overdose.

Even with all the turmoil he’d put the family through, when his mother learned of his death, she mourned deeply. The son who had tried to kill her so many times, was deeply mourned in death.

Our mothers will love us no matter what.  Too many mothers, though, have rose colored glasses on when it comes to their own children.

A mother will forgive her children whatever they’ve done, generally speaking.

But, honest and emotionally intelligent mothers will love but never condone the evil that the son or daughter has done.

I think this is why we had issues with Cindy Anthony. And it’s also why Cindy Anthony was in such a precarious position: She loved her granddaughter more than anything, but not more than she loved her own daughter.

I think I can forgive Cindy Anthony for that.  And I can’t help but forgive her because I have not walked in her shoes.  I can’t begin to know what it’s like to live with what she’s living through.

I sympathize with the Anthony’s.  I feel for George Anthony – for what he’s gone through.

Cheney Mason, the annoying defense attorney with the nimble middle finger, said recently that Casey Anthony will have nothing to do with her mother and father, but may see her brother, Lee, some day.

The Anthony’s, like my friend’s 1960’s family, never got help for Casey Anthony.

Casey was a deviant.  She stole thousands of dollars from her mother and family. The Anthony’s nearly lost their home as a result.  The Anthony’s knew Casey didn’t work, but like “good” families, they wouldn’t allow themselves to believe this – they were a family that wanted to keep up appearances.  They were a “good” family and would never admit to themselves they had a deviant daughter.

This perfect daughter wrote this, while in jail, about her loving parents (this is taken verbatim from one of the jail letters to prisoner Robyn Adam):

Saturday, hints why Baez still couldn‘t get a hold of her. Turns out, she meets with Meredith Veiera, formerly of the view, now associated with the media, the Today Show, I believe, or Good Morning America. She‘s not well enough to take advantage of seeing me in person on Friday, but can shmooze with the dirtbags the next day?! Seriously?! But wait, there‘s more! (I‘m sweating while writing this. My emotions are obviously getting a workout.) Come to find out that she put a Trademark on Caylee‘s name months back, never told me, and even talked about doing the same with mine. This is the same time she publicly states that she plans on writing a book about this!

B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L!!! I‘m so sick to stomach even thinking about this. I‘m the only person who has tried to protect Caylee throughout all of this, and it kills me! All my Mom talks about now is doing a public service for herself, because she needs to. I can‘t believe my own mother is capitalizing, or trying to, off of everything that has happened. I had written her expressing my disgust, grief, and hurt, after what happened on Friday, this is before finding out all of this. And what happens when she meets up with Baez yesterday to read my letter? She laughs at the idea of getting caught with her lunch on Saturday. Laughs!

I can‘t take it Robyn. I can‘t I‘ve done everything possible to hold my family together and I continue to get stomped on, thrown under the bus, and it doesn‘t surprise me anymore when it happens. I have too many other things to worry about and now all of this! I‘ve officially lost my entire blood-related family in the blink of an eye, in the midst of mourning my daughter‘s death, trying to exonerate myself, and figure out what steps to take in achieving these things, and I get Fucked over by my entire family. I talked to Chaplain Gonzalez about it briefly, Cliff Notes version, and she wanted to cry. She told me my feelings are completely valid, and that I have to start looking out for myself. Not that I have a choice in the matter. They chose for me.

Casey was perfect.  She was pretty. Popular.  The Antony’s have known all along about Casey but did nothing to help her because they could not or would not see it.

The Anthony’s knew she never graduated high school, but pretended she had.  They knew she was pregnant, but wouldn’t believe “good” Casey would have sex, so therefore she couldn’t be pregnant.

I’m not sure if it was George or Cindy who said, “She’s not pregnant, she’d have to have sex to be pregnant.”   (I believe it was Rick, Cindy’s brother, who revealed this conversation he’d had with Cindy when he was talking with Yuri Melich.)

So, is the Anthony saga coming to an end now with her freedom?  Probably not.  But, the Anthony’s will one day become a faded memory to us, believe it or not.

Oh, this case will be remembered, but the feelings of hate that many have for Casey Anthony will fade because  time heals everything.

Time heals even the memories of so called, “Trials of the Century.”    A century is a long time.  This is the year 2011 and no doubt there will be many more “Trials of the Century” before this century is over – in the year 2100.

We have 89 more years to go before this century is over and I guarantee this trial will be forgotten in the year 2100.  Oh, maybe it will be “Googled” in future law school classes, but then again, maybe not.  Who knows!

All I know is Casey Anthony has a lot of years of living to do before her times ends.  I hope she fills, what is left of her life, with grace.  That’s the poet and the dreamer in me talking, though.

In reality, I know Casey Anthony will not have a good life and will probably end up living her life out in some prison in America.

So be it.  Live and let live.

Good-bye Casey.

28
Nov

HOPE for a BETTER WORLD

This is a short, but powerful, video featuring one of the most famous speeches by Harvey Milk, given in 1978.

Listen to Harvey Milk.  Listen to his message of  hope, peace, equality and justice for all.

We are all one people in this wide world.  Let us stop bullying each other.

Our classrooms are filled with children who, because of ignorance on the part of their parents, condone Gay hatred and thus we have young people committing suicide.  Young people who were born Homosexual but are too young to understand what it means to be Gay.  They are too young to know that being Gay is RIGHT for them.  Children who are too young to appreciate that no one should care about an individuals sexuality because it belongs to the individual.

There is no right or wrong in being Gay or Straight.  One is not better or worse than the other.  Believe this.  Live this for the sake of our children.  For the sake of children who will grow up to be lovely human beings, not necessarily because of their homosexuality, but because they will have grown up with a sensitivity that will become a lovely sensibility.

Believe this.  Stop the hatred.  Stop the bullying.  Condone kindness, empathy, and appreciate the different colors and the different sexuality that others own.

Live your own life without fear or judgment.

Just.  Live.

Say no to fear.

Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant’s and John Briggs’ are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope. -Harvey Milk, 1978

27
Nov

the work of forgiveness

Thanksgiving weekend and the air around us seems to literally sing as our friends and loved ones gather around us – as we give thanks that our loved ones joyously grace our lives.

The ability to feel thankful rises from one’s ability to be truly grateful, this goes without saying. But, what about forgiveness? From where does that rise?

When one cannot forgive is it because gratitude and forgiveness are inexorably weaved together via our near-perpetual state of humanness? Is it due to our being human and thus imperfect, that we can not always forgive? It seems to me that choosing to not forgive is the ultimate negative emotion. Think of all the negativity involved in the act of refusing to forgive!

Often we hear people cry, “I just can’t forgive this”, or “I just won’t forgive that….” We nod and say, “I hear ya’, you need to just walk away from that.” And, yes, it is true, there comes a time when, to save our sanity, it is necessary to “walk away” when we feel put upon, abused or used. That is a positive first step. But I think it’s only the first in a long series of steps in the work of forgiveness.

But, do we always walk away with an intent to forgive eventually? What does it take to forgive? Is it necessary to forgive?

When one thinks of what it takes to forgive, really forgive, can that also include a murderer on death row?

Who among us could forgive a murderer? I don’t know if I could, but I have read about people who have been victims of murderers who go to the prison, face the guilty, and forgive them – right in the face of the murderer they say, “We forgive what you did because we know you are sorry for what you have done.” (Will forgiveness work only when the wrong-doer is repentant? I tend to think that is the case.)

Think of the redemption in the act of forgiving like God would forgive! Does the thought of such deep forgiveness stir something in you, as it does me? I want to believe that I could be such a forgiving person should a murderer kill my loved ones, but, to be honest, I don’t know if in reality I could be so forgiving.

I say so often, “Well, we are only human.” In the case of forgiving a murderer, I think it applies – we are not God, right? Well, this is indeed true, but can’t we be “god-like” in our actions and reactions?

I write about the Casey Anthony case because I have so much vested in the case – I’ve followed this case for so long and though I tire of it at times, I am fascinated by it, as many of us are.

And I often think, who is left to forgive Casey Anthony?

Her parents and family can’t forgive her and this is why they choose to believe someone other than Casey killed Caylee.

Can we forgive Casey Anthony? Does it even matter if we choose to forgive her or not?

I don’t have the answer to that. However, here’s a short passage from a little book I treasure. It will not answer the question for us, but may get us to think about what it really means to forgive and live with a grateful heart.

Maybe.

The following is taken from the text: “Attitudes of Gratitude”, by M.J. Ryan., pages 111-113.

Nothing blocks feelings of gratitude more than anger and resentment. That’s why the practice of gratitude requires the work of forgiveness. We can’t feel grateful to our parents for what we received from them when we are still angry about their abuse, self-involvement, insensitivity, alcoholism, or neglect. Nor can we receive the gifts of a relationship that has ended when we still feel hurt over betrayal, angry over deceit, sorrowful over abandonment.

Nor should we. Trying to force ourselves to feel grateful when such strong negative feelings exist only compounds the injury. We have been hurt. Let’s not deny our woundedness on top of everything else. Healing, in the form of acknowledging the grievance and grieving the loss or wound, needs to happen first.

However, there comes a time in the process of emotional resolution for forgiveness. For only forgiveness can move us out of the victim stance and free us to move on. Depending on the kind of wound you have suffered, this may be deep psychological and spiritual work. No one can talk you into it. No one can do it for you. Only you can come to the place where you want to forgive.

What helps the forgiveness process is to understand that resentment is a second-hand emotion, a cover for underlying feelings that have never been expressed….

….At some point you realize you are a better, stronger, more loving person than you might have been if you hadn’t been so hurt, and you recognize the gift in your particular suffering. In that moment, you move from victim to victor, from victor to venerated teacher.

Forgiveness leads to gratitude, and not just gratitude in general but, in a beautifully healing movement, to an outpouring of appreciation for the very things that caused such pain in the first place. Thus is our suffering redeemed.

There are many ways to victimize people. One way is to convince them that they are victims. ~ Karen Hwang

18
Nov

mantra….

Life changes every minute of every day. You lose friends. You gain friends. You realize your friend wasn’t ever really your friend. And that person you used to hate can make a really good friend. You look for love. You find love. You lose love. You realize that all along you’ve been loved. You laugh. You cry. You laugh so hard that you cry. You do this. You do that. You really wish you hadn’t done that. You learn from that and are glad that you did. You have your ups. You have your downs. You see good movies. You see bad movies. You look at others and wish you were them. You then realize who they are and are glad that you’re you. You love life. You hate life. In the end, you just find yourself to be living life no matter what’s thrown at you.
~ Source: x3bbycakes


13
Nov

mirror images

You were the mirror image of me when we were kind enough to have patience.

Without patience is life barren?  Oh, that’s contradictory, isn’t it?  Without patience, life becomes overgrown with gray spiny weeds, trees that break and bristle to the touch, and sand spurs that draw blood.  Mirror images in tranquil repose look toward each other for peace and solace and perhaps live like these two butterflies do.  In a separate but equal space, in peace.  And though the wind, should it roar, these two could be swallowed up in a millisecond, it is patience that holds them steady through the rowdy wind.  Mirror images find strength in the other.

7
Aug

the death penalty… stop the madness!!!

I live in Florida.  If you  live in a death penalty state, too, then you and I, We are the People who the State Attorney Office serves when they find cause to charge an individual with a crime and/or put them to death.

We the People, though not “present” in the courtroom, are represented in good faith by the State Attorney’s Office.

In the Casey Anthony case, in Orlando Florida, these good people are Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick.  And of course, the Judges: the popular and kind Judge Stan Strickland, and the serious and even tempered Judge Belvin Perry, (who does seem to have a sense of humor, but of course, the courtroom is not place to show it.)

These are good people, all. And they are doing, with honor, the work that the People of the State of Florida would expect.

I don’t want to dishonor these good people as I rail and I scream about the death penalty.  All these fine folks who are working diligently for justice for Caylee, are doing their job….

However, and you can holler at me all you want, they didn’t HAVE to go with the death penalty in this case, did they?

Remember, they originally had it on the table, then took it off, then put it back on – after the discovery of the body?

Judge Perry, the Judge overseeing the Casey Anthony case in Orlando, Florida, recently ruled on eight motions put before him regarding the death penalty.

Eight arguments denied.

The heretofore Defense attorney, Andrea Lyon, attempted to argue that the death penalty was unconstitutional.  Not so, says the Judge, as he must follow the law.  He must follow the law, bad or not, he must follow it.

Andrea Lyon had an uphill battle anyway.

The death penalty IS unconstitutional and unconscionable, in my mind, anyway.  The death penalty belongs in Third World Countries, but not in the United States of America – the land of  the free and the proud.

According to the PEW Charitable Trust organization, there are still 38 states who allow the death penalty.

Time and time again you’ll hear this study and that study declaring that the death penalty does nothing to thwart murderous villains from acting as they will.  But, jail does stop them.  Jail works, for the most part.

I don’t want Casey Anthony sentenced to death, and she very well may be, though it will be overturned on appeal if she is.  I say that because her second trial will take place with a real lawyer who will focus on her mental illness, as should have been done at the outset of this trial, I believe.

Being in jail and facing the certainty of death changes the criminal, for the most part.  Time and time again I have read how the criminal does a 360 about-face, becomes more human and totally repentant.  So, how do we play God and kill such a person?

In the name of God, is capital punishment part of His teachings?  Isn’t God a totally forgiving God?  Why we won’t emulate the forgiveness versus relying on a vengeful God is something I will never understand.  It reeks of contradictions.

Death is too final and we are merely mortals.

What if we make a mistake and we put to death the wrong person?  It has happened time and time again.  That has got to bolster the argument AGAINST the death penalty. Right?  Wrong.

But, I’m singing in the wind. Who is listening?  Nary a soul.  Does anyone think about this anymore?

Did you know that in Utah a prisoner was killed by firing squad very recently?

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

….bullets to the heart, and

Done.

In the name of the people of Utah, in the name of God and the law, a human being was placed before a firing squad and killed for the wrong he did to society over 25 years ago.

25 years ago. We kept him alive for 25 years only to kill him.

19
May

do it anyway & the paradoxical commandments

These lovely inspirational words were written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children, in Calcutta.  (Thank you to my friend, Weezie, for sharing this.)

Do it Anyway…

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

The words by Mother Teresa seem to mirror what was written in 1968 by Dr. Kent M. Keith.  It is unclear at this time which was written first.   Regardless, I do hope you like these inspirational messages as much as I do.

The Paradoxical Commandments

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Source: The prayerfoundation

13
May

a sentence of death and its aggravators

There are a total of 15 possible aggravators that the State of Florida can use to measure whether the severity of a crime rises to meet the requirements of applying the death penalty law.

Although the State did not list the aggravating factors they were considering when they filed their death penalty notice for Casey Anthony, they have answered today. This afternoon, the state of Florida filed a motion that lists five (5) out of a possible 15 aggravating factors that correspond with the murder of Caylee Marie Anthony.

The 5 aggravating factors used by the people of the State of Florida will be:

Florida Statute 921.141(5) D, H I, L, and M.

The five aggravating factors, as written are:

D) The capital felony was committed while the defendant was engaged, or was an accomplice, in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit, any: robbery; sexual battery; aggravated child abuse; abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; arson; burglary; kidnapping; aircraft piracy; or unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb.

H) The capital felony was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.

I) The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.

L) The victim of the capital felony was a person less than 12 years of age.

M) The victim of the capital felony was particularly vulnerable due to advanced age or disability, or because the defendant stood in a position of familial or custodial authority over the victim.

I have never given a great deal of thought to the death penalty until I saw the movie Dead Man Walking, and learned about the work of Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking.

Sister Helen became a very passionate activist against the death penalty after becoming a pen-pal and then a spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, a Louisiana convicted murderer.  Sonnier was waiting on death row for his appointment with death when he and Sister Helen began their correspondence.

When Sonnier requested that Sister Helen become his Spiritual Advisor while he awaits his appointment with death, she began visiting him.  This was the mid 1980’s and Sister Helen had the unusual opportunity to see close-up how the death system worked, which, of course, prompted her book, followed by the movie of the same name.

The book:  Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize,  was also an international best seller and has been translated into 10 different languages.

If you live in a state with the death penalty, as I do (in Florida), then the state will murder via the death penalty in your name. You and I pay for the death penalty via our state taxes. You see, we are the people of the state, and the good people in the State Attorney’s offices work directly for us.

Please know, I do not disrespect the law, on the contrary, I believe in the law, I uphold the law and am proud to be in the United States of America where the law, for the most part, is equal for all….well, at its heart, it is.

I also support Attorney Andrea Lyon in her quest to free Casey Anthony from the death penalty.

It should not be inferred that I think Casey Anthony does not deserve punishment if she is found guilty of capital murder, on the contrary.  But I will never wish death upon Casey Anthony.

To learn more about forgiveness, listen to Sister Helen in the short clip below.  Take the journey and learn about her work. Learn about the death penalty. Vote for Leaders who do not support it.

Websites dedicated to the work of Sister Helen Prejean:

http://www.prejean.org/

http://www.deathpenaltydiscourse.org/

11
May

why death?

The death penalty.

It is a terrible topic.

Our current laws in certain states, Florida is one of them, require human beings to have the responsibility of pronouncing and performing murder of another human being to maintain civil and social laws.

When so many in a society thwart the law and maim and kill, what can we do to cure those who murder?  Well, we murder them, that’s how.

Does murder of one to pay for the murder of another work?

Of course, in a civil society we protect innocent civilians potentially in the path of a murderer as soon as we learn of their potential for murder, or their conviction of murder.  But, must we kill, too?

Is it not a sort of freedom for the criminal when we kill them?   Can we not put them away and out of reach and let them live out the rest of their miserable lives in their own private hell?   Does not that make more sense?

If we knew how to save criminal people from themselves – from going to that place in their heads where crime is like a walk next door…. if we could stop one person from taking that path, this discussion would be moot.

When you look at our society in its gritty realism, it seems a delicate balance between depravity (evil) on one end;  apathy in the middle, and loving-ness (a heart free of judgment and prejudice) on the other end.  It is a constant struggle for balance.  So too do the scales of justice struggle.

Apathy shouldn’t be the fulcrum.

Has our society evolved in such a way that it has become socially acceptable to be apathetic about death?

Jails and prisons, though we think of them as “corrections” they hardly practice that aspect and the prisoner experience often mirrors the depravity the prisoner left on the street.

I don’t feel it is up to us to “fix” the murderer and then set them free in death. The murderer must take responsibility, if proven to be such, and live the rest of their days in confinement.

It is my fervent hope that the murderer will die of old age or of natural causes.  Living in a state of perpetually begging for forgiveness to whomever they believe their God to be.

That is enough. Isn’t it?

9
May

inspiration made of sand and stone

Sand and Stone

This story tells of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of their journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand:

“TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE”

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.

The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her.

After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone:

“TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE”

The friend, who had slapped and saved her best friend, asked her, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it.”

(Learn to write your hurts in the sand and carve your blessings in stone.)

Author Unknown

20
Feb

a dose of inspiration, and then some

the wind of anger

16
Feb

and so it goes with the heart

Yes.

And so it goes when a heart

is locked,

or numb,

or frozen,

or simply ignores

its hunger

preferring instead to

stay asleep

quiet and

alone

a forced sanctuary

to keep out

all

light and air and love and

me.

Read more »

8
Nov

my to-do list

go to bed early

go to bed early

go to bed early

sleep well after thanking the universe for sending me friends that grace my life with their joy and their love; their kindnesses and their warmth.

go to bed early

in the evenings, collect random happiness-es and thread them like a string of pearls… I will string moments of joys together, on pretty ribbon, so at the end of the day, I can hold the joy necklace that I have made like a rosary, and count my blessings one by one.

go to bed early

eat right

love more

tell my friends that I love them

tell myself I love me – mean it and believe it,  and oh yes

go to bed early

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