Monday, June 11, 2012

What would Jesus do and what would I do?

So I came across an article about a father who caught another male (I can't bring myself to call the attacker of a four year old a man, so I'll go with male) sexually assaulting his four year old daughter.  The father struck him in the head until he stopped.  The attacker died.  You can read the full story here.

The main question surrounding this now is whether or not the father will be charged with a crime.

I pray I'm never in this situation, but I also wonder what I would do if I were. 

I'm not a violent person, but I am protective.  Whether it's myself, my property, my family, or anything else I'm strongly attached to, I will defend it.  I also don't have a short fuse.  It takes a lot to get me fired up, but even then, I'm more likely to talk through something than take to physical altercations.

Speaking as a man trying (and failing every day) to follow the path of Christ, I'd like to think I'd have the self control to put an end to the situation without putting an end to the male's life.

Speaking as the sinful man I am, I imagine I would act as judge and executioner in a very short period of time.

Obviously, in the heat of the moment you don't have time to think about all the negative consequences of your actions.   

I'm sure he wasn't thinking about the possibility of his daughter growing up without him as he spent time in jail. 

I'm sure he wasn't thinking about the regret he would be carrying around with him for the rest of his life, knowing he took another life.

I'm sure he wasn't thinking about what impact his actions would have on those people in the attacker's life.

I'm sure he wasn't thinking about any of that as he saw his daughter being attacked.

In fact, I'm almost certain he stopped thinking about anything as the urge to protect his daughter became the only thing on his mind.

Even now, I don't know if it does any good to think about it and what I may or may not do.  You can think about every possible scenario and outcome that may happen to you in life, but when it comes down to it, there are some things you can't practice or prepare for.

For the guys out there, what do you think you'd do?

For everyone, should the father be charged with a crime?


Derek Aldrich said...

Self Defense, so no. Then again, I hold a very low view of those types of people. But it is tough to balance what I want to do, to what we are called to do. But we are called to protect and raise our family so anything goes. I am sure if anyone went after my wife or children that there would be "words" that may or may not be verbal.

Olusola said...

One of my primary prayers since the thanksgiving of 2009 has been that I don't let an impassioned moment cause a lifetime of grief. (Triggered by the Tiger Woods incident and a local pastor committing suicide in the heat of a family disagreement) Having said that, I can fully relate to the father's anger.

Dave Ressner said...

Assuming there is NO doubt that the male was in fact abusing his daughter AND the father had NO ulterior motive to harm the alleged assailant, if there are any parents on the jury, I would be shocked if he were convicted of murder. And I hope he's not convicted of manslaughter. Maybe aggravated assault or something similar (I don't know the legal terms). In other words, if dad killed for one reason and one reason only--his daughter was being harmed--I see little or no need to punish him because he shouldn't do it again...unless his daughter is harmed again.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

It's impossible to put oneself in that "what if" scenario. I cannot begin to imagine being in that father's shoes...seeing someone harming his child in such a way, or now, grappling with what has to be such a horrific burden.

To your question, I think the father should be charged with a crime. As a society, I think it is a very slippery slope if we start to consider "vigilante justice" in any form. Still, I would hope that the father would be in front of a very compassionate judge and jury, which would see the situation for what it was, and be very lenient in sentencing...maybe community service in the form of educating the public on a related topic. I can only imagine what an impact someone such as he could have as a speaker.