“Until it hits home, for most people it’s abstract. Some crimes are so heinous they deserve the death penalty.“
— My friend Myer on Facebook
So, how could I make such a passionate plea for the life of a balsam fir tree slain to be used in a gawdy commercial display, and call for the public execution — and, yes, jeering and stoning if anybody wants to — of cold-blooded murderers.
It’s not such a contradiction. I’ll explain.
I see all life as equal: Everything has emerged and is emerging from the same primal Universal Source or Seed, define it as you will. And the same Universal Energy that animates the tree animates the murderer and every other living thing on this planet. Everything is cut from the same cloth, with only our tenements of clay/star dust differentiating us.
Sadly for me, most humans have no problem with killing animals for food, if not for sport. Or killing trees and myriad other forms of life, whether by necessity or for such whimsical purposes as hanging department store advertisements on a tree in the town square in the name of mythical saviours.
And not so sadly for me, most humans have no problem with killing cold-blooded murderers like the scumbags that make up ISIS and the like, whether the individuals in that wretched organization have actually killed anybody or not. Like mad dogs, ISIS members are seen to pose a threat to our security, so bombs away. According to a report on the CTV National News last night, some 50,000 ISIS members have been killed so far — and you can be sure that many of those individuals never actually killed anybody.
So, most if not all of us are supporters and accomplices of a system that murders myriad numbers of life every day. And we eat many of our victims. We seldom think about those victims, perhaps because if we did go to the slaughterhouse “and wait there with the lamb,” as Leonard Cohen sang, we might never eat the flesh of an animal again.
Such is the law of survival of the fittest. Humans have numbed themselves into such a dispassionate state that most are oblivious to the suffering and murders of so many of the Universal Source’s creations. Some are arrogant enough to justify the neverending slaughter by saying that a mythical supernatural being put everything here for man’s use to do with as he sees fit. And many of those people pray for the same mythical supernatural being to slaughter billions of humans for the “crime” of not being Christian enough and not worshipping said mythical supernatural being.
Yet, so many of those believers in a mythical supernatural being and other people are opposed to executing cold-blooded murderers in our cities who steal a mother away from her family, or children away from their mother.
Talk about contradictions, yes?
A man shoots a woman sitting in her car so he can steal the vehicle, and most people are more concerned about how he will be treated later by the legal system than they are about the woman whose life was snatched away and the terrible, terrible void left in the lives of her husband, daughter, friends, family and colleagues.
It’s not surprising, I guess, given how mankind in general accepts slaughter as a way of life. These days, even the growing numbers of mass shootings in the United States elicit mere shrugs from many people, who then go about their business as if the shootings never happened. We are so jaded that the cold-blooded murder of one woman sitting in her car is meaningless.
Passion . . . there’s no passion, Rod Stewart sang.
Yup. He nailed that one.
I suppose you can’t blame anyone for putting murders out of their minds. After all, if we cried for each person killed by cold-blooded murderers, we would be crushed by grief — as I was the other night when I wrote my post calling for the return of the death penalty. I had paused to think about Chantal Cyr’s family, about Chantal herself — who happened to resemble very much my own partner. And I realized that it might have been my partner sitting in a car that night, my partner murdered . . .
But why do so many care so much about the plight of the murderer? Why are they opposed to the death sentence? After all, few of those same people would be opposed to putting down a mad dog who may or may not have actually bitten anyone. And the cold-blooded murderer has committed an atrocity far worse than the dog, and might very well commit more such atrocities either in prison or when he gets out of prison.
I understand one reason given by many: there’s a risk of executing an innocent person.
To that I answer: Only execute those who are guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Another reason: Well, the killer was not himself at the time. He was mentally ill at the time.
Answer: That is a common defence, and is most often rejected by psychiatric professionals and juries. The killers most often know the difference between right and wrong at the time, even if they have let themselves get into an irrational state of mind. They are responsible for their actions, just as a drunk driver is responsible for his actions.
But why execute them, you might ask.
Well, Westerners in countries like Canada have become so dispassionate and blasé about murder and the system has become so lenient with murderers that most no longer view their crimes as the abominations they really are. Yet those same people gleefully cheer when the West drops bombs on ISIS militants who have publicly beheaded people and broadcast videos for all to see.
We in the West need to remind our citizens of just how horrible murder is, and we can only do that by executing the murderers publicly and, yes, allowing the public to jeer the killers and even throw stones at them in the town square. Yes, it is barbaric. But so were the crimes they committed. We need to send a message to all potential killers that if you kill someone in cold blood, the system won’t coddle you for 10 or 20 years and then release you. It will shame you and kill you in public for all to see. Not in some private setting in a prison with only a few witnesses. You will be executed before thousands, and your humiliation and execution will be broadcast live on TV and the Internet for billions to see.
Yes, it will leave lasting impressions, just as sitting in a slaughterhouse with the lamb — and broadcasting its murder — would leave lasting impressions.
How can you support the killing of a lamb — or a balsam fir tree — who has done nothing wrong and disavow the execution of a cold-blooded murderer?
And if you are one of those who says we must leave it to God to mete out punishment, I ask you: why did God allow the murders to happen in the first place. Why does God give mankind freewill to murder and then, supposedly, judge him after he has left his tenement of clay?
Answer: Simple. A personal, rational god does not exist. That concept of god has been used as a cop-out for thousands of years.
I have deliberately not talked about my spiritual beliefs in the preceding commentary. But as regular readers here know, I am a Theosophist who believes in the immortality of the spirit — as in divine sparks of the Universal Energy — as well as reincarnation and most important of all, karma. You reap what you have sown, no more, no less. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword, if not in this lifetime, then another.
Using that logic, some might say the murder of Chantal Cyr in her car last Sunday by a man who wanted to steal the vehicle was an act of karma, that Chantal committed such a crime in similar circumstances in a previous life and was then reaping what she had sown. And by extension, her killer will suffer the same fate eventually.
It may or may not be. I don’t ask you to believe what I believe. But if there is any truth to it, then executing her killer would actually do him a favour, because he would have then paid the karmic debt he incurred by killing Chantal. Coddling him in prison and allowing him to live out his life would only mean that one day, somewhere in time ahead, he will be killed by someone in the same way he killed.
No matter what you believe, the concept of reaping what you have sown is a universal principal. And that alone justifies the execution of cold-blooded murders.
Photo: The lotus symbolically represents karma in many Asian traditions. A blooming lotus flower is one of the few flowers that simultaneously carries seeds inside itself while it blooms. Seed is symbolically seen as cause, the flower effect. The lotus is also considered as a reminder that one can grow, share good karma and remain unstained even in muddy circumstances. (Photo: Nevit Dilmen/Wikipedia)