By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal
The Grand Jury will hand down its findings very soon regarding the police shooting in Ferguson. The community has been in constant turmoil since the tragic event took place; much of the unrest coming in the form of rioting, looting and burning down store front businesses. Waiting to find out whether or not the police officer will be charged has most everyone on edge.
An article appearing in the Conservative Tribune doesn’t do anything to make the public feel any more comfortable, Alert: New Video Shows Ferguson Protesters Training to “Shut Down” a Community.
“Protests have been ongoing since the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury has been investigating the shooting and leaked testimony points to it exonerating the officer of any wrongdoing. Some have promised violence, even civil war, if Wilson is not indicted for Brown’s murder despite there being seemingly no evidence for such a charge.”
In an article posted to Time.com’s website a similar tone was set, Ferguson Braces for the Worst Ahead of Grand Jury Decision. Fear has gripped the residents of the area and the sale of firearms has skyrocketed as the threat of chaos takes hold.
“Throughout the St. Louis area, citizens fear the riots that engulfed the city over the summer are about to return. A grand jury deliberating whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown is expected to come to a decision this month, perhaps as soon as late this week. And amid a steady drip of leaks that appear to corroborate Wilson‘s account of the encounter, protesters are readying for the possibility that the officer won’t be indicted on murder or manslaughter charges.”
Switching gears a bit…
Yesterday during one of our several meetings at church the lesson material was, Love and Concern for All Our Father’s Children, as found in the Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, who served in that capacity from 1970 – 1972.
My thoughts immediately returned to the civil unrest going on in and around Ferguson. Two paragraphs in the lesson manual leapt off the pages and distracted my thoughts, coming back to me over and over as the day pressed on.
“The God we worship is a glorified Being in whom all power and perfection dwell, and he has created man in his own image and likeness, with those characteristics and attributes which he himself possesses.
And so our belief in the dignity and destiny of man is an essential part both of our theology and of our way of life. It is the very basis of our Lord’s teaching that “the first and great commandment” is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”; and that the second great commandment is: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (See Matt. 22:37–39.)”
I suppose the good folks in Ferguson wish those who place themselves above the law, those who intend to shut down society, riot, loot and burn…the good folks in Ferguson hope they don’t have to confront any of these individuals in the next day or so; let the findings of the Grand Jury represent the voice of the people, all the people.
During our church discussion my friend, Mike Hunter, raised his hand and shared, “Most of us are jumping to our feet demanding justice, when we should be dropping to our knees pleading for mercy”, though he couldn’t recall who should get credit for the original quote. Wouldn’t it be so much better if, instead of going head on into the fray looking to get even, wouldn’t we be better off getting on our knees and thanking our Father in Heaven for the tender mercies we’ve been shown? (forgive me while I preach to the choir)
I tried to find the ‘author’ of the quote Mike supplied by doing a Google Search. The closest idea, as pertain to the protests in Ferguson, was by William Shakespeare from his play, Romeo and Juliet.
“You think you are getting justice but really all you are doing is causing havoc…”
Shakespeare had it right, then and now; the protesters in Ferguson aren’t looking for justice. They are looking for social justice, which isn’t justice at all; it’s revenge of the dirtiest sort. They want to destroy all that is good around them so that everyone will be as miserable as they are. In short, the protesters in Ferguson are following Satan and have no interest in the teachings of our Savior.
The Golden Rule teaches that we should treat people as we wish to be treated; something to think about as events in Ferguson unfold in the days ahead.
The good folks up Ferguson way, being afraid for their safety and well being, have recently armed themselves preparing for those who might do them harm. Your choice, the Golden Rule… or should we bone up on a line from Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, “Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war”.