Monday, June 13, 2005

As has often been noted, it is the faces of the crowd in these lynching photos -- photos often used as post cards and collected by many -- that says the most about the capacity for self-deception. (See below article)


jim s. said...

I'm having a difficult time knowing how to respond to this picture, and to the previous post about lynching.

You said it so well: "Forgetting one's capacity for evil is done every day... The sinner who has been saved forgets that he was so desperately lost in his personal hell."

The opposite side of this coin is forgetting our constant need for grace. I have slowly been learning that my spiritual growth consists not so much of working hard to become a "better person", but becoming more aware of my own deep, deep sinfulness and desperate need for the cross, from which I receive grace.

Back to the picture: one would have thought we'd learned. But your picture reminds me of some of the pics published of Abu Ghrab - don't know why. A group of the "good guys" standing, smiling next to the tortured "criminal".
Maybe not as grotesque as your pic in this post, but it appears similar nonetheless.

I'm not sure what comment to make about that, or what that says.

Jon Trott said...

You've hit on a very powerful image; the smiling private (a woman, yet) next to a bound, naked prisoner with her booted foot on his body. That next to smiling southern whites in a faded photo of a charred body, or maybe a black woman hanging from a bridge (wonder what her crime was?!), or maybe the three men hung in 1920 Duluth, Minnesota... No, not exactly the same. But disturbingly similar. I think you're onto something.