20 August 2009

Compassion in action

I'm a big fan of compassion. Big fan. If the world could take a lesson from Scotland this week, it would be a Good Thing, indeed.

One of the Lockerbie hijackers bombers was released from prison because his death is imminent. Recognising that some people might be upset by this, the minister of justice said:

"Mr. al-Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion,… but that alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days,... Our justice system demands that judgment be imposed but compassion be available. Our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown."

This is not someone who is going to go out and commit a bunch of horrific crimes. This is someone who is going to die a painful death. Allowing his family to be with him for this time is a gift to his family. It's living by one's values, regardless of how it feels. It's incredibly rare, and I wish it weren't so.

Christianity demands this kind of compassion. If more Christians lived by these Christian values, we wouldn't be dealing with such an image problem!

And *SHAME* shame on the US for pressuring them not to let this man out of prison. Just how much do you like it when other governments start telling you what to do with your prisoners?!

I feel for the families of the victims. I really do. This must be tearing them up, knowing that he gets to spend his last minutes with his family, when he was the one who made it so that they couldn't. A horrible feeling for them, I'm sure. I'm rather certain I'd be livid about the situation myself. But the justice system isn't supposed to be revenge. There must be room for mercy. Not for him. But for his family. I know any one of those families would give anything for another minute with their loved ones. Giving this to his family is an act of mercy and compassion that brings me almost to tears.

**edited to fix my brain-o. Like a typo, but not.

1 comment:

shelly said...

But the justice system isn't supposed to be revenge.

If only every conservative (and even some more progressive) Christian would read that one sentence and let it sink in.