It’s not often I feel compelled to add quotes from a priest to my blog, however Father Peter Hansen, the parish priest at Our Lady’s Church, Craigieburn, affected me profoundly with his homily to Caleb Nguyen Tuong Van.
“There are some voices – I believe no more than a minority – who call for vengeance and retribution, because of what Van had done. But these voices belong to people who do not understand the fundamental truth that human beings can change, can move from a life that does harm, to one that does good. I say to these people, if you build a world upon the so-called values of retribution and vengeance, then you will build a world in which some people will always seek to take drugs, because you will build a world of such unbearable harshness that people will do anything to escape it. But if, instead, we build a world based on values of tolerance and forgiveness, on remorse and atonement, on compassion and mercy, then we will be building a world which has no need of the culture of death, which heroin, like capital punishment, represents.”
Father Hansen’s words offer hope for a revival of decent, caring, cooperative values in our present retrograde, barbaric, desperately competitive society where even so-called democratic countries blatantly exhibit classic symptoms of oppressive totalitarianism.
I’d include some large pharmaceutical companies, the legal drug dealers, and their political pushers who often have direct financial interests in them, as part of that culture of death as well. Perhaps it is not surprising then, that it seems to be those same politicians who also peddle the ‘necessity’ for capital punishment and other abhorrent means of social control.