Whose blood? Whose hands?

by Bob Schwartz

Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the
perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
hand. Oh, oh, oh!
Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 1

And Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him. And the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? Listen! your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil.
Genesis 4:8-10

This was originally drafted in response to this week’s Israeli violence, in which dozens of Palestinian protestors were killed and hundreds wounded.

Then this morning, still another high school shooting, this in Santa Fe, Texas, has left at least nine dead.

Worlds apart, these are related. Whenever ideology and belief result in unnatural deaths, questions should be asked by the zealous ideologues and believers themselves. If they are completely and unconditionally convinced that their belief is worth the mortal price that others pay, then they should proceed. But whether those beliefs are religious or constitutional, they are not relieved by justification from asking the questions: Whose blood? Whose hands? Because they know—or should—that the blood is on theirs. They are the keepers of their brothers, sisters and children. Even if they don’t listen or want to listen, or they make loud excuses or evasions, the blood cries out.