June 16, 2012
Saturday Morning Commentary: What Would You Do?
Now, you must know that in the state of Texas, it is likely that this man will not be tried for this incident, although an investigation will ensue and the case will go to the grand jury. Neighbors and citizens across the state have given their opinion ..... he was morally justified in his actions.
As it turns out, the Texas Penal Code also states that the father was legally justified. According to the penal code:
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
(B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
The law further states:
(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.
So, let me ask you --- how would you have reacted? And can you pass moral judgment upon this man? It seems to me that legally, he was within the law. But the moral component to this unfortunate incident weighs just as heavily. There will be those who say that one of the Bible's commandments is "Thou shalt not kill." But the word "kill" in the original Hebrew context was "Thou shalt not murder"; which implies pre-meditation. That is not the case in this death.
Then there is the father's obligation to protect his innocent daughter. I cannot believe that there is anyone who could blame him for reacting as he did. What father, or mother for that matter, would not react with swift and deadly force to protect their child?
It is unfortunate for everyone involved. There is a man who is dead. There is a child who will forever be scarred with the memories of the rape and seeing her father kill her attacker. The father will never wipe out the memory of seeing his daughter assaulted and his reaction to this heinous act.
And it probably won't surprise you to know that the director of the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin, is now questioning if the father "didn't go too far in his anger." All I can say to that is, until you've walked a mile in his shoes, don't be so quick to second-guess his actions.
It will be interesting to see what the national consensus on this case will be. I can assure you there will be those who will condemn the father's actions as rash and unnecessary. And the dead man will be seen as a "victim". But as for me, I will pray for this young father and his blameless daughter; that they will, with God's grace, find peace and understanding. And I will pray for the family of the deceased. No one is left unscathed in this heartbreaking experience. It is just another example of Evil on Earth.
Psalm 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.