The streets of Boston are safe tonight and I can imagine that there will be much celebrating in the streets of Beantown.
An amazing law enforcement effort to capture the suspect and that they were able to take him alive. We are all indebted to their service and need to remember this the next time they seek pay raises.
Now the question that remains is whether we can really move towards peace as a country? Can we move into a place where we value the safety of our citizens, but also the dignity of human life?
Massachusetts does not offer the death penalty, but this is a federal issue and therefore the death penalty may be invoked by the powers that be, acting on our behalf.
And that, after all Boston and our country has been through, should disturb us.
We deserve better. The world needs us to be an example here and terrorism needs to see that we do not act as they do. We value human life and those principles need to be upheld.
Vengeance, even when we think it can be justified, is never OK. We cannot latch on to hatred, but must always cling to love. Love of country, love of life, love of justice. Justice will punish, but will never hate.
Those that died will not be brought back by our taking of another life. It will only turn us into what the terrorists hope we become.
We can honor those who have been lost best, by not taking revenge in the taking of another life. We’ve already killed one of the two terrorists and that’s a tragedy, albeit not necessarily intentional. Now we need to get information from the second terrorist and lock him up for a long time, making him restore justice long-term.
The death penalty, the taking of another human life is just one more form of violence that we should not tolerate. We are one of the few countries that still impart this penalty. The others? You’ve got the world’s great dictatorships and autocracies: Iran, Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cuba, Belarus. Then you have many undeveloped countries: Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo, Chad, Yemen, Guinea, amd Bangladesh.
So who’s left among developed countries? India, Japan, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
And of course, the United States.
That’s not a club I want my country to be a member of. The United States is also the only G-8 country to use the death penalty.
We’re better than this. We cannot afford to be associated with barbarism, under the guise of state sanctioned justified vengeance.
We deserve more. We are far more resilient than simply moving into murder. Violence begets violence.
Can we finally stop the violence? If so, we need to take the first step.
So let us pray for justice that is humane and places us in an honorable place of defending life. All life, even life that we don’t like and are angry with. For that courage to seek peace, to meet violence with peace, is where we must turn this day.