When I was a younger executive in Canada, I hade very large client, a Canadian multinational in the agricultural commodity trade sector. My relationship with management was superlative; I was fond of them and they truly cared for their people, their ethical business practices, and the customers with whom they dealt. I was really a tiny and unimportant cog in the wheels of their machinery, but I got to know two executives quite well; at least as well as business associates ever know one another.
From the female executive who befriended me, I was sent a supply of pinto beans I used to make my own frijoles refritos which I could not find in Vancouver, where I lived. Why she remembered me, or my challenge to make my own food, I will never know. But the kindness is etched in my brain. Not every executive in every large conglomerate is a greedy, indifferent and uncaring soul. I suspect this may be a cultural difference between Canada and the United States. Between the two, I find Canada superior in most meaningful ways to the materialism and greed I see in my country of birth; a country I love, but not blindly.
From the other executive, and older gentleman about to retire I received the best thoughtful conversation I have ever had. I had not much to do with his work, but when visiting his headquarters, he would invite me into his office to chat. Not about business but about interesting topics and life. Some were out of left field, but I felt such happiness from discussions that were all too short in my estimation.
One day he sat me down and asked not if I was a Christian, but if I saw any inconsistencies between the Old Testament and the New Testament. I mentioned I had read both and could not understand why the two testaments were put in one book, the Bible. The God described on the Old Testament was just like we mortals, in some cases worse. Reading it was somewhat frightening and some passages disturbing. The New Testament was, as we discussed vastly different and more consistent with what we each believed.
In the end, we agreed that perhaps the Old Testament had to be the precedent for the changes that were described in the New Testament, the Gospel of Christ. We hoped so. I am not a Christian, and I never asked my friend if he was. But we both read the Bible; Christian or not, wisdom is wisdom. We both lamented that if people only understood the Gospel of Love, and followed its path, there would indeed be heaven on earth. Unfortunately, for most, being a Christian only means Christmas, nothing more.
In the Trilogy, there are parts of “Old Testament” justices to which main characters adhere. Whether they misapprehend what they should know, or simply believe that the Old Testament is the foundation of modern moral and criminal law I leave to the reader to choose.
But, I too believe when the criminal justice fails, it is the right of those aggrieved to exact retribution. That in doing so societal punishment will be visited for such retribution is but a small price to pay for delivering moral justice that is denied by the incompetence, laziness, or outright purchase of those tasked with bringing wrongdoers to account. Some things just cannot be left to the police or prosecutors for resolution.
I once dated a female prosecutor and learned the internal process of the justice system, the unholy alliance between cops and prosecutors as well as the overload of the public defenders, God Bless them.
I am ashamed of what I learned, especially about police misconduct, the endemic racism embedded in law enforcement and the willingness of police to manufacture evidence and commit perjury.
I am saddened and perplexed by the America I once knew. While I never agreed with the Christian Conservatives, nor its born-again wing, I respected their intense fervor and religious beliefs. That they meddle in secular politics while denying they do so is beneath them; “render under to Caesar what is Caesars …” Christians have ignored the teaching of Christ. This is arrogance and blasphemy. And there are those among them that practice cruelty and even murder in the name of God.
The greatest shame is reserved for the Christian right which voted for and supports Donald Trump. Have you no shame?.