A 124-year-old Jewish cemetery in Missouri was vandalized this past weekend. The attackers overturned about 170 grave markers, pushing them off their bases. The motive is unknown until the culprits are arrested, but we can certainly guess.
We have a long history of desecrating the place of the dead to make a statement for the living. Even in Ancient Egypt, not long after Queen Hatshepsut died, her mortuary temple was vandalized.
Hatshepsut ruled Egypt with her stepson Tuthmosis, who was a baby when she started her reign. She did good things for Egypt, including building magnificent temples and masterminding a highly profitable trade with another land.
After she died, Tuthmosis ordered workers to attack her monuments and to drag down and smash her statutes, all with the intent to obliterate her image. Why? The motive may have been that he wanted to erase the memory of a successful woman pharaoh in order to make his own reign look good. That’s a rotten reason, in my opinion.
Sure, the dead may not care about desecration, but a destructive act is meant for the living.
And in 3,000 years, we haven’t changed.