My fault too?
but I thought he was invulnerable
and I think he did too."
—Steve Irwin's friend John Stanton
quoted in Adelaide Now.
You have no doubt heard the news that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while being filmed off the coast of Australia (Washington Post story here). I wasn't the 44-year old Croc Hunter's biggest fan, but I enjoyed his show and appreciated his movie. Like many, I questioned his judgment in the incident with taking his son in the croc pen a while back. But I liked the guy's work and I loved his enthusiasm. And perhaps because of that, I miss a guy I never met. I also feel like I helped egg him on toward his death.
OK. I know that is overstating things, but if I stood in a crowd that encouraged someone as they did cliff diving, wouldn't I feel somewhat responsible if the last jump of the day went bad and the diver died? This is different, but is it so very different? At some level, we are only responsible for ourselves. I never made Steve Irwin's choices, but I did help make his dangerous profession more lucrative.
Cain told God that he was not his brother's keeper. Should he have been? What level of responsibility do we have for the behavior of others?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church