Spirit Of The Dead

Posted by Michael A. La Framboise on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Under: Meditations
“Thy soul shall find itself alone
’Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone—
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.”

Spirits Of The Dead, Edgar Allan Poe

I have refrained hitherto from writing about the Trayvon Martin case, because my personal policy on this site and in this blog is to never stray into subject matter that has no Christian or spiritual angles. Whenever I take up my pen I desire to do so with the specific purpose of shedding Biblical and spiritual light on particular matters, whether of the Faith, politics, or culture.

However, from the first time I encountered the Trayvon Martin case nearly a year and a half ago, it seemed always to be a case of morality. Yet so many in the Church have failed to see the moral implications of this case, and therein lies a great bewilderment to me which has boggled my mind and broken my heart. And so I take up my pen.

In spite of the legal result, my moral stand on this case has never wavered because I have never made this case more complex than it seemed to be from the outset.

The facts demonstrated from the beginning that there were two people: One armed adult male with a history of violence and a criminal record; and one unarmed  minor child with no history of violence and no criminal record. These two came to a confrontation which ended with the armed adult killing the minor child. By his own admission the confrontation was initiated by the adult male, and the evidence revealed that the minor child was returning home to catch the second half of the NBA All-star with Skittles and Arizona iced tea. These basic facts led me from the first to recognize the tragedy in its purest form. A child had been killed. He was in the wrong place (though in a gated community), at the wrong time (though it was not yet 7:30pm), and met the wrong man (though legally armed).

It never mattered to me that the defense argued the boy was on top of his assailant, causing the man who outweighed him by a hundred ponds to fear for his life. Although the jurors were apparently convinced, I cannot conceive of a narrative that permit’s the aggressor to kill his victim and then claim he did it in self-defense.

But as Sean Hannity relentlessly rants, it was a ground-and-pound MMA tactic that Trayvon surprised Zimmerman with! Regardless, by his own admission, Zimmerman initiated the pursuit. Clearly Trayvon was the victim from the start. Did he get in a few good blows before he was shot in the chest? Though DNA tests on Trayvon’s hands were negative, Zimmerman claims he did, and I hope that he did. If it was my son, I would pray to God that his attacker would be battered and bloodied before it was all over.

Aside from the court case, I have been deeply burdened by this story. I have been grieved how so many Christians, let alone Pro-life Conservatives, have cheered Zimmerman’s defense and have supported the Not-guilty verdict. Whether it was second-degree murder or manslaughter, how can we see this as anything less than a case of wrongful death?

In my life, I have never seen the death of an innocent dismissed so passively. When Cain rose up against Abel the Lord declared how the very blood of the victim cried out from the ground! Dare we as believers neglect the cry of Trayvon Martin’s blood?

But he wasn’t perfect. He had trace amounts of marijuana in his system. He was suspended from school. If it was our nephew, perhaps we would remind ourselves of his broken home, and that the “home” he was returning to on the night he was killed, was the home of his father’s fiance. Maybe then we would sympathize with him, and feel pity for him, and even despise the killer who shot him.

Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend was on the phone with him up until moments after his confrontation with Zimmerman. She recounted his fear of being followed by some stranger, and how she told him to run. Do I need to know the details of a victim’s last struggles, and whether they scared their attacker, to decide whether or not the attacker was justified in killing them? God forbid!

But Sean Hannity says Zimmerman was the victim of a surprise MMA attack! On this point I confess it strains credulity and my objectivity is likewise strained. If somehow I could bring myself to believe that a boy who verifiably went to the store for snacks at basketball halftime, gave in to the temptation to surprise a stranger with an MMA ground-and-pound maneuver on his way home-- then I could support the Zimmerman verdict with ice-cream on twitter the way his defense attorney did.

But are we so callous? Will even Christians now waiver on issues of Life?




In : Meditations 

Tags: trayvon martin  murder  life  george zimmerman 
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