Never Again!

Pastor Matthew Best
2 min readMar 17, 2020

That’s the rallying cry after something terrible happens. Never Again! we shout at the top of our lungs. Never Again! we demand. Never Again!

How about this instead — Let’s just not do the terrible thing in the first place! Doesn’t make for such a great rallying cry does it?

Instead of waiting for mass deaths or destruction, how about recognize at the start when something is going to go badly and then not do it.

Instead of doing things that harm the poor and dehumanize people, how about we just don’t.

What if, instead of our apparent natural inclination to do otherwise, we didn’t do things that hurt people, moved us towards war, blamed and scapegoated, caused destruction of the planet. Is that so much to ask really?

Why is it that we always have to make the mistake and do the bad thing, and then supposedly learn from it? Except, do we really learn from the bad things? I don’t think we do. Why else do we have to continue to repeat bad ideas that are destruction and cost people their lives?

But the problem isn’t that simple. If it was, I wouldn’t be posting on this. Two people can look at a situation and come to two very different conclusions. Each conclusion includes a rational method to get there. Each person see the errors of the other person while only seeing the good of their methods. That’s how this works — it’s messy. And it becomes a problem when we each get addicted to being right. When we worship the idol of thinking we know what’s best for everyone.

And so, we’ll continue down our path — re-learning from our mistakes and intentional sins. And yelling “Never Again!” And we know full well that humanity will do something just as bad if given enough time. That’s what humanity habitually does.

Lord have mercy.

Originally published at on March 17, 2020.

Pastor Matthew Best

My name is Matthew Best. I’m an ELCA (Lutheran) pastor who attempts to translate church and churchy stuff into everyday language.