Some of you may be aware of the vicious beating of a trans gender in a McDonald’s restaurant last week. If you are not, the link to an article about it is below. Please be aware that the article below contains a link to the video shot by an employee, and it is disturbing.
The first time I saw the video, I literally got sick to my stomach. I saw the original video, which shows the victim having a seizure at the end. The video stops with the victim seizing, not giving you any indication as to whether she lived or died, whether the police ever showed up, or whether the attackers were apprehended. My first reaction is that the media outlets who choose to air these videos should be held accountable for providing more information. Responsible journalism dictates that you do not air such a disturbing video without informing your viewers about the safety of the victim.
With that being said, the next day after the airing of the video, reports came out that the victim had been released from the hospital and was ok, and that the attackers were in jail facing assault charges. Bail was denied. I believe that is the right thing to do. Hopefully, the attackers will suffer the consequences of their actions and justice will prevail.
When we see these events occur in today’s society, we sometimes tend to think that our society is getting more and more violent. We see the videos, and the 24/7 coverage of various high profile crimes, and we ascribe them to an increase in moral decay, the destruction of the family unit, or other causes. While I do believe that there are valid reasons to believe in these causes, I would caution the reader to be wary of this type of thinking. For example, take this link:
The link above is the Wikipedia discussion of the murder of James Byrd, a black man who was killed by three white men, who dragged him with their pickup truck. It happened 13 years ago.
There are many more. For example, it is estimated that 100,000 homosexuals were killed during Nazi Germany. Of course, we all know of the approximately 6 million Jews that were murdered by the Germans during World War II. Hate crimes have unfortunately been a part of this fallen world since the beginning. Since the days of Cain and Abel, man has at times brutally murdered his fellow man.
The disciples of Jesus knew very well the consequences of following their savior.
- Andrew was crucified on an Olive tree.
- Bartholomew was crucified upside down.
- James was stoned to death by the Jews.
- James, son of Zebedee was beheaded by Herod
- Paul was beheaded in Rome.
- Peter was crucified upside down, by choice.
Ever since sin entered this world, there have been men willing to carry out unspeakable crimes. Let’s not look at the events we read about in the news and try to come to the conclusion that any of this is specific to our times. The only difference is that today, the news is instant, and in our face constantly.
“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
The Bible is just as much an answer to us today as it was to the men who wrote the original scriptures, and revealed to us by God. If there is one overriding theme to the verses above, as well as the entire New Testament, it is that of love. We are able to love because God first loved us. In the verses above is a clear example of how we are to behave with our neighbors. I think it is very clear when we are told not to let the sun go down upon our wrath. There is nothing in the verses above about loving everyone except trans genders, or everyone except blacks, or everyone except Muslims. Jesus even goes so far as to tell us elsewhere in the Bible to love our enemies. Imagine that!
It is impossible to let hate and anger cause you to assault someone when you are following the teachings of Jesus. My hope for those of us who witness or hear about these horrible acts is that we keep Jesus in our hearts, and ask Him to guide us in everything we do. When these attackers were children, I would bet they did not think they would grow up to hate someone so much that they would assault or murder them. Something changed in their hearts. Let’s pray that those who have malice in their hearts allow Jesus to soften those hearts. I believe the following verse sums up how we should behave towards our fellow man or woman:
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”