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Tit-for-Tat. Please not that

It is appalling that the beautiful and moving headstone and footstone of a slave’s grave in Bristol was vandalised a couple of days ago. We had mentioned the grave in an earlier Blog – before the vandalism.


This was evidently a retaliation for what happened to the statue of Edward Colston when it was thrown into the harbour.


This is so petty, yet so sordid.


This grave is as much a reflection of the privilege of the slave owner as it is a tribute to the slave. No slave would normally have a memorial this wonderful. So in a back-handed sort of way, the vandalism is not only an attack on slavery; it is a slap in the face for the slave owner. Moreover, sympathy for the slave who lies buried there will now almost certainly be increased.


This all neatly illustrates the impossibility of disentangling good things and bad things from history. A slave gets a rich man’s grave, but paid for by the spoils of slavery! As a local councillor put it: “Our history is not simple, and a person’s actions are rarely clear cut. Our nation’s past is an intricate web of greatness, atrocity, heroism and villainy... We have good people that do bad things, bad people that occasionally strive for redemption and everything in between.”


Jesus said something comparable when he said: “Let him without sin throw the first stone”.


The vandal left a message: 'look at what you made me do'. This is a twisted perverted thing to say! It implies the vandal had no choice - which is obviously false. He tries to put the blame on others. He also makes the nasty assumption that tit-for-tat is inevitably justified.


This is reverse image of Jesus’ crucifixion. Think about it! Jesus had a choice, and he chose to do the loving thing, not the hateful thing. So far from putting blame on others, he takes the blame due to others on himself. He reverses tit-for-tat to something like: although the world hates me I will love the world. Wow!


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