I am not sure how Anders Breivik is supposed to get a fair trail, something like one in four people in Norway are somehow related to the victims of Utoeya Island, and even though I am not Norwegian or related to anyone involved it still hurts. I am not sure where the phrase ‘he’s killing the children’ came from, but it is primeval and powerful, and somehow it is killing the future, killing hope – and the Norwegians are determined to give this man a fair trial. I get the sense that this not a publicity exercise, but it is that a resistance to give into the hatred that vengeance brings, and it must hurt them, it must hurt everyone listening to Breivik’s statements, every Mother, Father, Brother and Sister to listen, to fight the urge not lash out.
Not to hate was a decision, not to seek revenge is conscious effort, it is not the easy option, by far it is the hardest option. When being crucified Christ said ‘Father forgive them …’ – forgiveness is not the soft option.
If we give into hate, then hate has won.
An amazing statistic was in the paper, in the light of this atrocity, only 16% of Norwegians would like the death penalty reinstated. the death penalty in Norway was abolished in 1876, the response to the murder 77 children by the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg was:
The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness, and greater political participation … No crackdowns on civil liberties, but a pledge not to allow a fanatic to succeed in eroding Norway’s democracy
Norway chose the difficult path, the path of justice, of peace, of tolerance in the face of intolerance. At the time I was struck, as I am still, at the Christ like response, Norway chose not to hate.
It is a risky policy, one our politicians are not willing to take in the face of terrorism, we have less privacy, emails will be monitored, social media controlled, our liberties eroded in the name of freedom, when in reality the terrorists start to censor our way of lives.
Today in the United Kingdom Abu Qatada was detained awaiting deportation to Jordan, and I the joke is that two men who hate what each other stand for are standing trial because they hate each other, lets face it they were not born hating, society taught them to hate, as one Tweeter put it when I asked the question ‘how did we create these two monsters?‘
.. it may be because what we haven’t done? We haven’t cared, shared, thought, talked and taught, challenged, learned enough
That is true, quite simply, but also we choose not to care, to love, to understand.
Again, in the news today, Darell Desuze was imprisoned for eight years for the manslaughter of Richard Mannington Bowes – the ‘have a go hero’ of the London Riots, a few weeks after the massacre in Norway, I was unfortunately shocked at his sister’s statement at the hearing – though it spoke more about or society that such attitudes are rare, she said:
Some months ago I decided to forgive Darrell. Forgiveness is not easy and is emotionally very costly. I do in no way condone his criminal acts but I have had to lay aside any claim to retribution and no longer hold anything against him and trust him to God as his just and impartial judge. As a committed Christian, I pray that he will one day seek God’s forgiveness for his terrible acts on August 8 and perhaps be able to attend a Life Changing Alpha Course even in prison.
Lets not balk at the mention of God, lets admire the cost of forgiveness. We need to learn so many lesson, Breivik was not born to massacre 77 Youths, the Koran is not a book of hate that Qatada should learn hate from there, and Darell Desuze was not a killer when he went to school.
We learn to hate, and we must learn to stop hating, we must learn to love one another, or at least respect. In too many blogs I have gone on about intolerance and somehow it must stop, we must change
we must learn to live with one another –
For my Blog on my response to Utoeya please click here