I thought it would be an easy thing – this advent series on murder victims and where would they be today. It turned out to be more difficult than I thought. And for the very reason I had decided to do the series. About the time I got to the John Walsh entry, I found that having to look at these things dispassionately was becoming remarkably disagreeable.
I’ve long admired the Amish Mennonites. To this day, they live much the way they did when Jakob Amman founded them in the 1700’s. They live by the “Ordnung” and as a society decry pride and arrogance and embrace calmness, composure and placidity. They punish by shunning. You can still live there when you goof up, but it’s as if you don’t exist because no one interacts with you. Needless to say, crime is extremely rare. Including murder. It’s not as if they are tiny. There’s a quarter million of them in and around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Like I said, hardly any murder. Because they just don’t allow it. They look at it for what it is, without sensationalizing it in newspapers, making the perpetrators famous. They process it calmly, for what it is and don’t do histrionic somersaults in judicial robes wearing lawyers’ briefs. They quite simply don’t allow it.
Out here in the rest of the Wild World, I believe we do allow it. By “passing a law” against it, we as a society have washed our hands of accepting any responsibility for it, much less allow for its existence to impede our consciousness in any way. It’s now “out there.” Which has created a giant crack for murderers to pass through with impunity. They stand in line behind us at the grocery store. We wait on them in restaurants. They wear the same brand socks as we do. They look just like us. And because we do not have any societal standards of behavior, outside “it’s against the law” (which none of us enforces individually because we don’t have to)……they still look just like us after hacking someone into bits the night before.
And the murderers’ impunity is further enforced by the protection of their “civil liberties.” Now, I believe civil liberties are crucial for us to maintain a civil society. But we need them to work enmeshed with a much higher expectation of societal behavior than the impotent and spineless “We have laws!!!” Because it would seem to me that, at this juncture of our species’ history, the laws aren’t working. And the faster the population exponentially increases and expands and bypasses in size, the government and “law” enforcement, we are heading toward a big, anarchistic, “anything goes” kind of party. Goodness, I believe we are knocking at that house’s door already, eager to get in.
I would join the Amish. But I am far too addicted to indoor plumbing, electricity and Angry Birds.
So, I will join you all, now that I’ve had my whine and cheese, in the flow of ignoring such things because I don’t have to be bothered. Although I do suspect at some point in the universe I shall be held to account with the rest of you as an “accessory” to the crimes.
….sucking it up,