Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our Own Not-So-Green Mile

Over the past week I've read Stephen King's brilliant novel, The Green Mile -- I've also rented the video and watched it several times. It has only underscored for me my absolute revulsion to the death penalty. Capital punishment simply has no place in a just and civilized society. If a person believes that premeditated murder is wrong, then it's wrong for individuals AND the state.

If the US Supreme Court or the Congress tomorrow struck down capital punishment as a means for punishing criminals, it would do nothing to lessen the death penalty sentence that everyone in the world -- the guilty and the innocent -- have been handed. As long as we continue our mad dash toward ecological ruin, we are condemning people the world over to walk their own not-so-green mile.

While this walk is to not to a hangman's noose, electric chair, gas chamber, firing squad nor lethal injection gurney, it is a walk toward certain death. We may not know the precise day and hour, but when that day and hour comes, there will be no call from the governor to save us. We'll be staring the death of our planet square in the face and death won't blink.

What keeps me up at night is the fact that we already may be beyond atonement. Even if all the people of the world came together right now and we decided that we would collectively put an immediate end to all this non-ecological foolishness, our past sins might be enough to convince the jury that we're beyond hope. We can't know for certain if we are indeed beyond hope, so we need to get our act together like there's no tomorrow because, one day, there genuinely will be no tomorrow!

We need to do whatever we can today and tomorrow to save our progeny from having to walk the not-so-green mile.

3 comments:

  1. Hi there, I had never seen the Green Mile, and after hearing you talk about it I decided to rent it from the library. My wife loves Steven King and of course read the novel several times and watched the movie. Wow! What a brilliant piece of film-making. Wow! What a masterpiece of story telling. I am planning a time for my fourteen year-old to view it, as it is morally and philosophically educational. thank you for reminding me about this wonderful story.

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  2. I haven't seen it either, but I like The Life of David Gale.

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