My confession on the eve of Yom Kippur. I just made a terrible mistake, I watched pieces of the beheading videos. Initially I began to name the two men whose videos I watched, but then I decided that was wrong. It felt like I was dishonoring the other victims.
I didn’t watch the whole video, just a snippet, which is really the wrong word to use. But I acted with as much sense as the moth who flies into a candle and I peeked into the dark closet and saw that there was a monster. I the child who was very much afraid of the dark looked the monster in the eye and was not physically consumed, but mentally wounded.
It hurt me to see these men and to know that their families have to live not only with the pain of their loss but the knowledge that people like me, strangers have access to these terrible films. And for that I do apologize. Just a post or so after I expressed my concern and distaste for this manner of apology, I contradict myself and apologize.
But I feel like I must say that I am sorry. I am sorry for your loss and I hope that in time the pain is diminished.
Some people argue that the people who are slaughtered this way are somehow culpable, that because they stayed when they were told to go they should be held responsible for their own deaths. I can’t accept that. I cannot give them carte blance and say that they are completely blameless, but I can say that it was minimal.
If they had walked through a minefield or intentionally walked into the middle of a firefight I could lay blame upon them. But to be kidnapped and slaughtered like an animal is not the same and it is not just. And during the time in which my people believe that judgement comes I ask for forgiveness from the families and for forgiveness for what I am about to write.
I am incensed. I am angry. I am infuriated and I want justice to be served upon the heads of the animals who did this. No one deserves to die like this. This action makes my blood boil and my soul call for vengeance upon them. I feel ill and I am sorry that I watched these videos, but on the other hand it is a solid reminder that there are evil people out there.
And this kind of evil will not leave you alone, it is a cancer that should be rooted out and destroyed.
I am not one to make public pleas for prayer, but I will do so now. I ask that regardless of your faith that you please take a moment to pray for the families of the victims, to pray for the innocent people who are murdered in Iraq and around the world.
I ask that you pray for the young men/women who serve in the armed forces. I ask that you pray for justice to be served upon those who would harm us and I ask that you pray for a kinder, gentler world.
Monsters walk in the world during daylight and darkness and I am going home to hug my children and hold my family close. The children are a beautiful reminder that there is more good than evil. And there is more splendor and joy to behold.
Have an easy fast.