Thursday, December 06, 2012
I was angry on Sunday afternoon when football commentators pussy-footed around the grim fact that a player for the Kansas City Chiefs murdered his partner the day before.
The only one who stepped up was Bob Costas, who called for greater gun control.
Jovan Belcher shot and killed Kasandra Perkins, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he killed himself in front of his coach. This was a terrible act of domestic violence , so simply speaking about a team in shock and reporting that his team-mates were playing the game for Belcher (yes, they went ahead with the game) was not good enough. There was a moment of silence before the game to honour victims of domestic violence, but this was a real situation which resulted in the deaths of two human beings. Why weren't they playing the game for Perkins, who was the victim?
We now know that the Chiefs had provided counselling for Belcher, 25, and Perkins, 22, the mother of his child, because of their financial and relationship issues. We can make men rich for playing a game. When will we teach men in our culture that intimidation and violence is not acceptable? We do not own our partners --that's why we call them partners. We don't own our children --they are gifts within our relationships. We just don't want to acknowledge the relentless litany of violence against women in our society.
In our household we talk about this all the time because of Ruth's work as a crisis counsellor for Bethesda House, our local shelter. The situations she describes stun me and cause me shame as a man. I keep wondering how we as the church can do more. I continue to raise the issue in our presbytery through our Mission, Outreach, and Advocacy committee. It's not enough.
I appreciated the article in the Toronto Star by Cathal Kelly. It was honest and well written. We need more of this.
Any thoughts about what transpired? What about the broader issues of domestic violence in our culture. What can the church do?
Read about the Green Patriarch on Groundling http://groundlingearthyheavenly.blogspot.ca/