So the trial of the killers of Lee Rigby has concluded. Whole life sentences, and a comic book scuffle in the court room. Two guilty men, two tedious humans gullible and credulous and warped by their own particular brand of religious certainty. I wonder how many more like them we shall see? How many other gnat brained "Soldiers of Allah" are waiting in the wings for their fifteen seconds of fame? Somewhere out there are future victims, future bereaved mothers and fathers, siblings and children. Their sentences will also be whole life. How could it be any other way? These days I actively steer clear of religion in all it's forms; I've learned that it has a leech like quality, sucking the precious hours from our lives with its wearisome demands. Oh well, personal choice I suppose. And most believers are kindly and decent and generous and normal. It just saddens me that Rigby's killers pursued their own unique delusion to such an extent that the ramifications cost so many so much. Perhaps the lesson we should learn is that no matter our views, none of us has the right to impose ourselves on others to their detriment. Like I said, I've left religion to its own devices and I've no interest in rekindling my investigation into the issue. I'm done with it. I don't have a dog in that race. I'm content to let others live lives as they see fit. I only wish the extremists, whatever creed they follow, would do us the simple courtesy of taking a similar view? Only that's not how these things work, is it? They believe themselves right, and their opponents really wrong. Apparently some cannot simply live and let live, so I suppose we will never be able to lower our guard. There will be other Rigby's, and other atrocities. This will happen just as surely as the sun will rise. To which I can do no more than shrug, and commit myself to living a life of common decency, allowing those who disagree with me the space to do so. Perhaps that is the truest response to barbarism, to small minded delusion in whatever shape or form it takes. Perhaps we just need to offer a simple alternative, namely to live out our days with gentleness, compassion, an enquiring spirit and no small measure of humour.
It's the best I can offer. And I really don't have a plan B.