Not again

 Not again

Again. An attack. A suicide bomber. Scores of people dead and injured. Again.

But for twenty-two human beings, including an eight-year-old girl, it is not again, but the first time, the last time, the only time, that their lives will be brought to an end, an unwarranted, untimely, unconscionable end. For them, for their mothers and fathers, for all those who love them, this is not one more act of terror, but THE single moment that now overshadows and redefines an entire history, a life that was and the life that might have been.

I too feel the grief, the unabated sadness, not again, but for the first time, twenty-two times over. Each had a name. Each had a life, a gift, a most precious gift, given each of them by God, now stolen from them, now stolen from God.

“Do not kill.”

The command is rooted deeply in our religious heritage. Do not kill. Period. To take a life is to defy God, because God is the life-giver. To bring a life to a foreshortened end, at any time, for any purpose, is blasphemy: defaming the name and being of God, desecrating the image of God that is imprinted into each of us.

It was blasphemy when Salman Abedi wandered into a crowd of teenaged girls at a Manchester concert and detonated an improvised explosive device …

It was blasphemy when Mohammed Atta flew a hijacked plane into the tower of the World Trade Center …

It was blasphemy when six days ago a Georgia prison official inserted a needle into the arm of J.W. Ledford Jr. …

It was blasphemy when the crew of the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” onto the citizens of Hiroshima …

Do not kill. Ever. Not again.

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