Our society will forgive just about anything: a lying, adulterous President; a famously immoral basketball player (take your pick—accused rapist, compulsive illegitimate father, or shockingly well-traveled philanderer); a life-taking, drunk-driving Senator; an angry, tirading, foul-mouthed actor who chews out his kid, his waitress, a police officer, or whoever is on his set; a businessman who runs up debt, then files for bankruptcy (the equivalent of a financial “reset” button, like I used to hit as a kid when my video game wasn’t going my way), leaving his creditors high and dry; a bimbo who sleeps around and leaves a trail of videos and pictures that will tempt and ensnare thousands or even millions of men. Other examples abound, unfortunately. Some things, however, are still unforgivable. We’ve not entirely lost our ability to be outraged. See the Michael Vick saga.
To state the post’s opening sentence more accurately, then, “our society will forgive just about anything people do to other people.” That’s why Michael Vick is still having a hard time, despite serving…well…hard time. Because he hurt dogs. And we can’t have that, now, can we? His case says more about society than Vick, despite the fact that his actions were despicable. We value life, just not human life.
That’s no exaggeration. Case in point: Cleveland Browns WR Donte’ Stallworth drove his car after a night of drinking and killed a man. But, unlike Vick, he’s not getting any jail time—none!—and he’s missing just 1 year of NFL action. That’s crazy. It’s crazy that a sports league (protecting profits) is tougher on criminals than the State (which is supposed to be protecting citizens). And it’s crazy that killing dogs is punished more aggressively than killing people. That’s the world we live in.
It’s not just about sports. It’s about values. It’s about truth. It’s about God. Reject God and His truth and we’re left with no moorings whatsoever. So if you kill a kitty the government will put you in the klink, but if you kill a baby the government will help you pay for it. It’s like the eclectic bumpers you spot (not all that rarely) that sport two stickers, one boasting “Pro-Choice and Proud” and another pleading “Save the Planet.” Ridiculous.
Michael Vick probably wishes he had just raped or killed somebody. We’d be over it by now.
What we need—Vick, Stallworth, and the rest of us, me included—is real forgiveness, the forgiveness of God. And that’s provided only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.