To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Observercast

Forgiveness And Due Process

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Sharon MartinOn the day after the Boston Marathon bombing, I asked my students, “What can we do to keep tragedies like this from happening?”

One student wrote, “America needs to mind its own business.”

More than one mentioned the word tolerance. We all acknowledged that acts of violence will never be eliminated.

I just kept praying that whoever committed such a cowardly deed wasn’t from one of the ethnic or religious groups that get the hate-mongers among us talking war. Unfortunately, religion was involved.

What is it about religion that causes so much hate and fear? Why are politicians able to use this fear to incite peaceful people to violence?

Already, politicians are spouting off about the need for more guns and stronger immigration laws. We don’t need revenge. We do need to rely on law and due process.

It will be hard to forgive the senseless death of an eight-year-old boy or the maiming of his little sister. Missing limbs and altered lives will be constant reminders.

Forgiveness won’t be easy, but if we are ever to make this world safer, it is necessary.

So is tolerance, minding our own business, and adhering to our laws, including reading a suspect his Miranda Rights.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean just looking the other way. Compassion isn’t weakness. And it certainly isn’t a sign of failure to follow the Constitution as we charge a young man with murder.

Compassion and the rule of law, not tough talk, are what should set us apart.

We will all be safer for it.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.