Doug Paul, the new pastor at East End Fellowship, has posted a thoughtful response to the killing of Rashamella Willingham and William White on 35th Street earlier this week.
I’m going to step close for second on this… I’m about as heathen as they come (sorry grandma), but I think we can all share a recognition of what he’s written about here. Whatever moves your heart, vast swaths of our neighborhood are in definite need of both mercy and justice.
But I wonder…do we see that these are Effects of something deeper? Do we keep feeding the poor, caring for vulnerable children, visiting people in prison…do we keep doing those things and not realizing that there are forces at work that keep putting people in that position and keeping them there?
There is Cause, and Effect.
There are root Causes that keep producing these kinds of Effects. There are systems that make the double homicide we experienced on Sunday night somewhat normal. (emphasis mine – JM) Sometimes these systems accidentally or unintentionally do this. They produce unintended effects or consequences. But sometimes? Sometimes it’s intentional.
But whether it is intentional or not only matters a little. Whether a system produces evil because of foolishness or it produces evil by intention…it’s still producing evil.