There are many words that I believe can be used to describe the way that (st.) Luke’s is acting in their treatment of Mr. Ammon Bundy. I believe Mr. Bundy has made mistakes both in his actions that initiated legal proceedings against him, and on several occasions in the way he has disrespected the court—especially in not even showing up for his civil trial several weeks ago.
He has tried to adjudicate the case in the “court of public opinion” instead of affording himself the opportunity to not only advocate for his innocence, but to also put the proceedings themselves on trial and allow for an appeal and review of his case.
Mr. Bundy is a brave man with strong convictions. He pleaded guilty earlier to a charge of trespassing. At no time was there any claim of civil assault. I was not at his most recent trial, nor have I reviewed the transcript, but the vigorous prosecution/persecution has led many citizens—even those who don’t support Mr. Bundy wondering—to what end?
One of the largest corporations in Idaho against one man and $52million! Really. Putting a target on his back to make a political statement has proven costly. Arrogance and hubris were practiced in the case by all the parties. Respect for one’s adversary was nowhere to be found. It is a perfect example how the vortex of passions can spin out of control ending in a place no one could have imagined when the process began. The legal system is supposed to keep this type of thing from happening. Everybody I have talked to on all sides of the political spectrum, including several attorneys, have wondered—”how could it ever have come to this” and “enough already or enough is enough”. The outcome was horrendous for Mr. Bundy, but it was also bad for the plaintiff that comes off as hateful, spiteful and a bully.
I have been reminded pursuant to the events that have led to Mr. Bundy’s most recent incarceration and bail of Act 4 in Shakespeare’s MERCHANT OF VENICE.
First Sylock the money lender demands a “pound of flesh” from Antonio.
Portia (disguised as a Doctor of Law (judge jl.) concludes the conflict between the two by casting her judgement—”a pound of flesh/ take then thy bond, take though pound of flesh…”, but here is the catch, “without a drop of blood”.
St. Luke’s seems to want both Mr. Bundy’s flesh and blood and everything else that he possesses. Later in Act 4 is the often quoted “Mercy Speech” given by Portia.
“The quality of mercy is not strained;
It dropeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s.
When mercy seasons justice.
Aquinas wrote that there could be no justice without mercy. The two complement each other. Ironically, the Gospel of St. Luke is often called The Gospel of Mercy. In its beginning Chapter, it begins with two “canticles” or hymns in praise of Devine Mercy—The Benedictis and The Magnificent. Later, we are told to “be merciful to others as God is merciful to us.”
There can be no justice without mercy. I have tried to find forgiveness in my heart for the actions of St. Luke’s and I will continue to do so, but I can’t help but think that we should consider dropping the (st.) from the Luke’s in the logo of a once great health care system.