Saturday, April 14, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
Why would I insert this horrific and brutal scene from that gangster movie, the Godfather, into a blog about Christianity, about the Christian life, about someone who is Love itself?
I intended to use it as a moral lesson, as a cautionary discussion.
Yes, God is about Love. He is also about good, he is about justice, he is the truth. And he is sovereign and is entitled to take revenge.
Yes, God is about revenge. He says it belongs to him.
And it applies everwhere. Even in the criminal underworld of the Mafia.
God took revenge upon Luca Brasi by allowing horribly sinful men, men such as the narcotics trafficker Virgil Sollozzo, to personally murder Luca Brasi by having one of his henchmen use a nylon cord to strangulate, to garrote him. It was a horrifyingly painful, slow, gruesome death that Sollozzo's henchman inflicted on Luca Brasi.
Why did God allow him, that gangster's henchman to do that cruel, inhuman violence to Luca Brasi?
Let's turn to the novel itself for those answers.
Let's begin with a description of the victim of the video scene, Luca Brasi, and see what kind of a man he was.
"Luca Brasi was indeed a man to frighten the devil in hell himself. Short, squat, massive-skulled, his presence sent out alarm bells of danger. His face was stamped into a mask of fury. The eyes were brown but with none of the warmth of that color, more a deadly tan. The mouth was not so much cruel as lifeless; thin, rubbery and the color of veal." 1
2018. Kkoworld.Com. Accessed April 14 2018. http://kkoworld.com/kitablar/Mario_Puzo-The_Godfather_eng.pdf.
"Brasi’s reputation for violence was awesome and his devotion to Don Corleone legendary. He was, in himself, one of the great blocks that supported the Don’s power structure. His kind was a rarity." 2
"Luca Brasi did not fear the police, he did not fear society, he did not fear God, he did not fear hell, he did not fear or love his fellow man. But he had elected, he had chosen, to fear and love Don Corleone." 3
How horrible were the deeds of Luca Brasi before he arrived at this point, the point of dying at the mercy of someone just as cruel, as amoral as himself?
In Book 3 of the novel, there is the backstory of how Vito Corleone rose to become the head of this Mafioso Corleone Crime Family. Moreover, it also narrates how this fellow, the one being killed in the video posted, Luca Brasi, played a role in Vito Corleone's rise:
"Vito Corleone dispatched Luca Brasi to take care of them with instructions that would liberate the strange man’s most savage instincts." 4
"Brasi and his people, four of them, received the Chicago hoods at the railroad station. One of Brasi’s men procured and drove a taxicab for the purpose and the station porter carrying the bags led the Capone men to this cab. When they got in, Brasi and another of his men crowded in after them, guns ready, and made the two Chicago boys lie on the floor. The cab drove to a warehouse near the docks that Brasi had prepared for them." 5
"The two Capone men were bound hand and foot and small bath towels were stuffed into their mouths to keep them from crying out. Then Brasi took an ax from its place against the wall and started hacking at one of the Capone men." 6
"He chopped the man’s feet off, then the legs at the knees, then the thighs where they joined the torso. Brasi was an extremely powerfull man but it took him many swings to accomplish his purpose. By that time of course the victim had given up the ghost and the floor of the warehouse was slippery with the hacked fragments of his flesh and the gouting of his blood. When Brasi turned to his second victim he found further effort unnecessary." 7
"The second Capone gunman out of sheer terror had, impossibly, swallowed the bath towel in his mouth and suffocated. The bath towel was found in the man’s stomach when the police performed their autopsy to determine the cause of death." 8
As horrific as these crimes were, they pale in comparison to the one that must really have angered or even enraged God the most at Luca Brasi. He murdered a just-born baby. And he did it in the most evil, pathetic, inhuman way possible:
"To make a long story short, Brasi left the room. Two of his men assisted the midwife and the baby was born, the mother was exhausted and went into a deep sleep. Brasi was summoned and Filomena, who had wrapped the newborn child in an extra blanket, extended the bundle to him and said, “If you’re the father, take her. My work is finished.” Brasi glared at her, malevolent, insanity stamped on his face. “Yes, I’m the father,” he said. “But I don’t want any of that race to live. Take it down to the basement and throw it into the furnace.” 9
" One of the men must have opened the furnace door, the fire now was visible. And then she was alone with Brasi in that basement with its sweating pipes, its mousy odor. Brasi had his knife out again. And there could be no doubting that he would kill her. There were the flames, there were Brasi’s eyes. His face was the gargoyle of the devil, it was not human, it was not sane: He pushed her toward the open furnace door. At this point Filomena fell silent. She folded her bony hands in her lap and looked directly at Michael. He knew what she wanted, how she wanted to tell him, without using her voice. He asked gently, “Did you do it?” She nodded." 10
" It was only after another glass of wine and crossing herself and muttering a prayer that she continued her story. She was given a bundle of money and driven home. She understood that if she uttered a word about what had happened she would be killed. But two days later Brasi murdered the young Irish girl, the mother of the infant, and was arrested by the police." 11
I believe that God gave this fictional character, had he been a real person, some time to think and reflect, and finally repent for his evils. God is entitled to take revenge and if He has to, he will. But God is not a vindictive person. He prefers to forgive. Nevertheless, if we refuse to take advantage of his olive branch, humble ourselves, and repent, he may decide that he's given us all he time we needed and still we did not repent. And in the end, he will sadly, perhaps even reluctantly give consent to Satan to have his way with us as he did with Luca Brasi.
It was not only that God allowed Satan to use of his servants to mete out painful, inhuman death to another of his own servants, Luca Brasi -- what is tragic here is that after Luca was horribly killed, he ended up in Hades and later would wind up in the worst and most unthinkable places for a human soul to end up: the Lake of Fire and for all eternity.
What would a sinner like Luca Brasi say and do in the presence of the Great White Throne with the Lord Jesus seated there?
We're talking here about the same Jesus who took away our sins, whose body bore all the stripes, tortures, spits, blows, and spikes driven into it - as payment in full - for all the sins, offenses, insults, blasphemies, transgressions, and iniquities that made us deserve all those horrible things that Jesus took but did nothing to deserve.
And we're now to see someone like Luca Brasi who ordered a newborn baby to be cast to be roasted alive in a furnace. A living soul, an innocent human being who didn't even ask to come into the world - and to be thrown into a raging fire simply because the father didn't want any of that race to live. His whim against a whole human life, the life of a baby.
I'd say that the garroting he took at the hand of that gangster's henchman was too little punishment for the brutal, diabolical snuffing out of a new born baby simply because he didn't want any of that race to live.
Yes, Revenge does belong to God and He will Repay if He feels He needs to, if it's warranted.
And no, the killers who in the end murdered Luca Brasi were not doing it for justice's sake over that baby. Remember, that this fellow, Virgil Sollozzo, was a narcotics man, a heroin trafficker. He made money before World War II as a pimp.
He ran a prostitution racket. Afterward, he went into narcotics production because he would make more money growing poppy fields and then having the poppies turned into heroin in a chemical lab for then to sell to people. He enslaved souls.
He strung them up like puppets. When others got in his way, he'd have them murdered as he had Luca Brasi murdered and then had Don Corleone physically shot with five bullets.
No, Luca Brasi, was not killed by an angel. He was not stoned outside the city gates. No. He was killed by people of his own amoral underworld community. Other devils as bad as himself did him in. But God allowed it.
He, God, in the Bible, allowed bad people to do terrible things to other sinners as punishment. And these other horrible people didn't even know they were doing God's will.
Vengeance Belongs to God and He will Repay. If you have evils on you for past things you have done, Get right with God! Repent while there is still time for you.