When a group of people have become guided by their bellies–their appetites–appealing to them on an intellectual, spiritual and/or altruistic basis is pointless. Not only do they become unable to discern any difference between good and evil, but they even become unable to figure out what is best for themselves.
We see this attitude made flesh–pun intended–in the latest Missouri drama involving the police.
Vonderrit Deondre Myers, a teenager who died in a police shooting, was struck by seven or eight bullets, St. Louis city Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Graham said Thursday night.
“All but one gunshot wound were to the lower extremities,” Graham said. “The one fatal wound was to the head.”
Police Chief Sam Dotson said the killing happened Wednesday evening when a suspect shot a pistol three times at the St. Louis officer, who was off-duty but wearing his uniform while moonlighting for a security company. The officer fired his pistol 17 times, police said.
The shooting sparked angry street protests, with residents pointing out similarities to the August killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.
Emphasis mine. There has also been rioting.
Many things fall under the heading of appetite. There is food, of course. (Esau famously sold his birthright to his brother Jacob–one of the earliest examples of selling oneself out against what is best for self.) And there are physical intoxicants and hallucinogens for which people will do anything to obtain.
But there are other appetites as well–tribalism, vengeance, covetousness, etc., and these are all spiritual in nature. And here’s how they operate: in the absence of the Holy Spirit, an individual–or a people–will be prone to these appetites.
Here we have black people protesting against the police because the latter responded to a shooter with identical force and, of course, the only reason they are protesting and rioting is because the shooter is black. Their appetites are more important than right and wrong. Which appetite? Their appetites for tribalism, tribal vengeance, and covetousness. Their bellies for these things have become their gods.
And many of these people won’t realize that they have food poisoning until it is too late.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2014.
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