Jim Denison on There is Value in Every Human Life

Daylan McLee of Uniontown, Pennsylvania

“There is value in every human life. We are all children of God and I can’t imagine just watching anyone burn. No matter what other people have done to me, or other officers, I thought, ‘This guy deserves to make it home safely to his family.’”

This is how Daylan McLee of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, describes his decision to rescue a police officer from a mangled police car as flames were spreading into the cabin. Police officials have credited McLee with saving the life of Officer Jay Hanley. Uniontown Police Lt. Thomas Kolencik’s voice cracked as he told reporters at the scene, “Daylan actually said, ‘I’m not going to let him die.’ There’s just no words to describe, you know.”

Here’s what made Daylan McLee’s bravery especially unusual: he has been the victim of injustice in the past.

McLee, who is Black, spent a year in jail after an incident in March 2016 before a jury acquitted him of all charges after reviewing security video. That was a year away from his children and his mother, who was ill at the time and passed away last year.

He had another run-in with officers a few months ago, when he ran from a porch gathering after officers in plain clothes and vests approached with guns drawn. He said they did not announce they were officers and that he stopped running and put his hands behind his head when they said they were police. He said he was charged with fleeing and resisting arrest, but added that during the arrest, an officer kicked him in the face through a fence, splitting his lip. He said the use of force was caught on a security camera and that he plans to fight the charges.

After saving Officer Hanley’s life, McLee said he couldn’t blame every police officer for his bad interactions with some: “We need to work on our humanity . . . that’s the main problem of this world.” He added: “I don’t want to be called a hero. I just want to be known as an individual who’s an upstanding man.”

The true source of our personal worth 

This week, we’re focusing on reasons for encouragement in the midst of discouraging times. Daylan McLee points the way forward when he states: “There is value in every human life. We are all children of God.”

However, his second sentence explains his first in ways that might surprise our secular culture.

It is conventional wisdom in our capitalistic society that our value as humans lies in our abilities and achievements. One of the reasons racial discrimination is so wrong is that it holds back racial minorities from their rightful opportunities to become all they can become. According to our culture, we are what we do, how much we earn, how we look, what we own, where we live, and who we know. Everyone should have the same right to achieve success as everyone else.

The claim that every person deserves the same opportunities to achieve what our society defines as success is absolutely true. But the way our society defines success is absolutely false.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jim Denison