Thursday, 13 June 2013

An Interesting Challenge

Dale Cregan, a man who admitted, and some say is proud of, killing PC Fiona Bone, PC Nicola Hughes, David Short and Mark Short, has just been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. It is a crime that shocked the nation, as he not only killed a father and a son, but maliciously lured two female police officers to their death in a grenade attack.

As you look at the fact that this man is going to die in jail, two things cannot help but spring to mind. First of all, we wonder what it must feel like to be one of the few in this country who know they are going to die in prison, to have to look out at their lives and know there is only captivity in the future. Secondly, at least some of us feel that this is not enough for this man.

This is not what he deserves. He deserves so much worse for acting with such disregard for his victims, taking their lives and then going on to brag about it. His crime is one that deserves an eternity in prison, not just the rest of his life. It was a horrific series of attacks, and he deserves nothing less than to rot forever in jail.

However, he deserves to be hated, but that is the exact opposite of what we should do. He deserves to be alone forever, but we should instead seek to reach out to him.

You see, everyone knows that a just world is one where we are screwed, since we are prats that haven't truly earned anything that we have. If we are willing to accept that we have so much more than we deserve, then we have to give Dale Cregan so much more than he deserves.

We have to love him.

It is necessary that he should stay in jail for the rest of his life, since that is only common sense for a man that is a danger to the public. Human justice needs to take its course in this respect, and apply the letter of human  law to him. I am not suggesting that we do anything different.

However, God wants us to be a people of love, and that means we need to open our arms to this man, no matter what he has done. Anyone can be rehabilitated when God gets involved, and a people of faith needs to be a people that are willing to forgive, to love, and to seek to change those who are going the wrong way in life.

Christianity means reaching out to these people, to have a society that wants to help rather than simply judge.  This man may deserve to be hated, but no good can come out of hatred, so instead we must choose love. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is the right thing.

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