I was searching some news from the last week when I landed on this Headline –

A girl’s beloved dog, a grisly nightmare

“Crystal Brown’s therapy dog disappeared. Later, the teen received his severed head gift-wrapped like a present.”

The article is from the Star Tribune in Minneapolis Minnesota.  This story is a sad statement about the state of North American society. This dog was to this little girl a confidant. In the story it indicates that she was a troubled girl and that the dog was for her an important part of her life and her healing.  "I told him everything and he never shared any of my secrets," said Crystal, 17, who has had some troubled times in her young life. Chevy was her therapy dog, and she leaned on him for comfort and support. This young woman felt really loved by her pet. She felt as tough she had a friend who looked beyond her many problems. "He was more patient than any person I ever met. That dog waited for years for me to get myself together," said Crystal, who began to cry.  "That dog didn’t care what I did, what I didn’t do … what anyone did to me. He didn’t care about any of that. He just wanted to love me the way I loved him."

I was mortified by this story. It is really sick. This person who clearly knows the girl, left a note on the gift wrapped box that said "Congratulations Crystal. This side up. Batteries included." Truthfully, this young woman had found a friend in that Dog and someone who knows her say fit to take that friendship away.

This is an unspeakable act of violence and I am afraid to say a sad commentary on humanity’s ability to reach to violence to make a point.

We cannot be say for sure what leads to that kind of aggression and violence but suffice t say that our society in general has moved to a place where violence is an acceptable part of our daily culture. We all participate in that culture. Personally I sit down each night and ready myself to solve what I call “the ten o’clock murder.” Think about it. Each night of the week at 10 PM someone is murdered on some story on TV. Last night the poor guy was from Miami. Tonight there were several dean in Las Vegas. Tomorrow it will be Boston. Wednesday we are privy to a murder in New York.  I have been a devoted fan of the Law and Order franchise for the last 15 years. I know that we all have enough of an imagination to not run off and cut off an ear as the poor slob suffered on Law and Order; Criminal Minds the other night.  I think it is not a mistake that the 10 PM shows are all geared at solving a murder. This was not the case even 1o years ago. We all need to think about how we can find ways to curb the trivialization of violence.  I’m not being silly here. I do not believe that Law and Order or CSI is responsible for the severed head that that 17 year old girl received. I’m not suggesting that we give u our favorite Murder Mysteries. What I am doing is alerting us to the fat that we now look forward to viewing images each night that were nor acceptable not too long ago. That means our ideas about violence have shifted and it is not for the better.

Manitonquat asserts that “It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence… and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect.”  This is a big issue as we have a real problem with how we see authority in this culture. We all need to show a great sense of respect for all people and if we did so we could certainly do a lot to change the face of our communities. We are all too quick to disregard certain persons in our lives or in our culture and we n turn devalue and disrespect them in the process. When we do that we feed the cycle of violence.  The philosophy offered above challenges us to lift ourselves to a place of respect for all of God’s Children. In offering that sense of respect we say no to violence and hopefully yes to a the day when the cruelty and violence of the article above will be no more. God would want no less from us.