[Originally blogged on May 7, 2013, following the death of note serial kidnapper, rapist, and murder Ariel Castro]
[May 7, 2013]The news is abuzz today about the death of Ariel Castro. In my own opinion, he is the evilest and twisted man we as a society have come across in recent history (at least the last 50 years). This is a man who kidnapped, raped, beat, impregnated Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight keeping them captive in his Cleveland home for ten years. He snatched mere children (teenaged
Ariel Castro- A modern-day monster.
girls) off the street, housed them like cattle, and brutally used them as his own sex toys and slaves without no remorse or sorrow. And worse yet, he’d still be beating them, raping them, and terrorizing them right now, if Charles Ramsey and other neighbors had not heard the screams for help and broke down the door and freed them. Ten years is a long time to brutally rape and enslave people and yet feel no remorse. How does someone like that go on justifying what they are doing for so long and live a normal life, having a family, working, playing in a band, and even going to church the whole while going home at night to such evil deeds? He was outward normal but all the while treating enslaved women as no more than animals to be feed upon for your own desires! There can never be a justification for such actions. Ariel Castro simply put was a modern day monster of epic portions.
Ariel Castro’s home was destroyed on August 7, 2013, but like he demolished so many of the lives he touched.
So when the news of his death hit social media this morning, you can imagine the rejoicing many engaged in. And I’ll be honest, part of me wanted to as well. The evilest man of this generations was dead, and that to my nature seemed reason to rejoice. Part of me knew that is not a place a Christian can go without being at odds with God.
All loss of life is a loss. Humans have what is called intrinsic value. Their value comes from being human not from their deeds. The mere fact that you share humanity means you have value that can’t be taken away or increased by bad or good actions. Having said that, there is no excuse for Castro’s sins. And his utter lack of respect for the intrinsic value of others is deplorable and seemingly beyond redemption. He was a dark, grotesque, sorry excuse for a person, and yet as twisted and evil as he was he was still of value in the sight of God. And I still believe God mourns not only his death but his eternal destruction that will likely follow. Still, Castro must bear the consequences of his actions, and I am in no way making excuses for him. I actually, agree with many on social media who say he got off easy. And I certainly agree that the world is a much better place without him. I can’t muster up much sympathy for him at all. But I know, I also can’t fall victim to thinking his life was without worth or intrinsic value to God who had a different plan in mind for Ariel. We all, no matter how twisted and horrifically evil, still in part bear some minuet image of our Creator no matter how broken and dull that image has become in us. I understand the rejoicing of the death of a man like that– all I am saying is let us not get sucked down to his level. For that is exactly what he did, ignore the intrinsic value in his fellow humans. If we go there, rejoice in his death, take pleasure in his suffering, we then are actually on the road becoming like him. We are engaging our passions at the expense of another’s intrinsic value before God.
Jesus died for us all. Even the vilest sinner. Jesus had a place picked out in heaven for even Ariel Castro, that now will never be filled. The irony is that Ariel’s name was an ancient Hebrew baby name that was an alternate name for the Biblical city of Jerusalem and literally would have translated to the lion of God. Jesus had different plans, better plans, even moral plans for the life of Ariel Castro but his death secures the certainty they will never happen now on any level. While I am not the judge of the universe and I always leave the last call-up to God all evidence points to Ariel Castro being an eternally lost man. And while we may be ok with that do you know who is not? – Jesus and His Father. Jesus died on the cross for Ariel Castro, as well as Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. And I offer no defense for Ariel Castro, but as Christians let us not rejoice at the eternal destruction of one whom Jesus shed his blood for. Let us not in our anger take on the spirit of Ariel Castro who refused to grant intrinsic value to others. Let us not engage the evil we deplore. Let us not let him sink us to his level. But do let us take note that playing with sin leads us to fall to levels of disgrace that we in our present state can’t fathom.