Dorothy Stang was 73 when she was murdered in 2005. She was working, as she had tirelessly worked, on behalf of poor settlers in the Amazon and for the Amazon’s preservation, against greedy Brazilian ranchers who were/are dead set on claiming as much of the land they can take from the government for stripping and making profit. She became a naturalized Brazilian citizen and physically helped the peasants protect their plots of land. Her t-shirt read “A Morte da floresta e o fim da nossa vida” (the death of the forest is the end of our life).
Let’s review. You’ll remember I said she was “73” years old. That’s seventy-three. She’s living in the jungle that is not her native home fighting for people who are not her family. And she’s 73. Oh yes, and she’s also a nun. I’m not even 60 and I don’t want to go outside when it’s raining, much less travel to a hostile jungle environment to fight a good fight. Hell, I wouldn’t have done that at 30, let’s be honest. But Dorothy did.
And Dorothy was having success. Which was pissing of the Brazilian ranchers who wanted their money, dammit! So a man named Rayfran stopped Dorothy on her way to a community meeting. She was armed only with her Bible. He shot her in the abdomen, the back and four times in the head. Two ranchers were tried for hiring Rayfran, who is sitting in prison for the murder for 28 years, while the ranchers get to stay there for 30 years.
Dorothy would be 79 years old today and still fighting for her Amazon friends and the forest. Hell, she’d probably even be in better shape then she was at 73. And she’d still be a nun.
Let’s review again – Brazilian ranchers wanted to kill a little 73-year-old nun, who was actually trying to save their sorry lives in the long run with her work, because they wanted whoopee money today. Lord, we are an idiotic species.
Now, go suck up some of that holiday spirit!