Sayings of a Gadfly
by Max Maxwell

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 The Gadfly was watching a news story about the execution of a serial killer.  It showed many people waiting outside the prison.  They held signs that expressed their desire to see the killer die.  They chanted and sang.  Someone asked the Gadfly about his views on Justice. 

 He said, "The sight of these lost hearts, who murder and destroy, is very painful.  Most people cannot bear to look.  So they cover their eyes with a blindfold they call justice.  In their pain, they convince themselves that a function of justice is to punish.  But the function of justice is to remove injustice, both from the circumstances of the victim and the soul of the offender.  Clinging only to the idea of punishment is the forsaking of Justice.  In order to see this, must we not take off the blindfold?” 

 Someone said, “But it is just to punish the people who hurt us.  The Bible teaches an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” 

 The Gadfly replied, “It is not the role of justice to create a society of blind and toothless people.  The value of justice is to educate those in need of it, to give peace to the outraged, to restore the lost, to give hope to the desperate, to empower the feeble and to feed those who hunger in body and soul. These are the fruits of justice.  But to trade injury for injury is merely the mourning song of our grief.”

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© Copyright 2014 Kenneth J Maxwell Jr.