Michael Vick

I've been hearing the details about Michael Vick and feeling sick. For those of you who don't know (altho I don't know how anyone could not), Vick is the star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, charged with dog-fighting, raising pitbulls for fighting, training them for fighting, and if they perform well, executing them. Shooting, hanging, drowning, and electrocuting them. And in at least one case, picking up a dog and bashing it against the cement ground.

He's now banned from playing in the NFL and of course has lost millions of dollars in endorsements. And he's entering into a plea bargain to avoid trial, which means the full details will never be disclosed.

The president of the NAACP's Atlanta chapter says that Vick should be allowed back into the NFL after he serves his sentence. From my perspective, for what he and his "colleagues" did to those dogs, he should serve a sentence so long that he won't be in any condition to be playing football when he gets out. It sickens me how lightly animal cruelty is taken in this country.  I want to take seriously the suffering that Vick and his associates have caused.

But as a UU, I also have to believe that no one is beyond redemption. It also sickens me the way that people are perpetually ostracized, even after they have served their sentence, not allowed to return in fellowship to society, and therefore almost certainly forced to return to activities that are "unsocial." In that case, we are as much at fault as the person who "relapses." Surely it is too simplistic to just vilify him.  How do we as a society/community come back into right relations with Mr. Vick?

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Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:11
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