The media’s latest blitz, not surprisingly, is all about last Saturday’s shootings in Arizona. The fact that a young gunman killed or wounded a total of 20 people is certainly newsworthy. Add to that the fact that a federal judge and nine-year-old little girl were killed and the Congresswoman targeted in the shooting was critically injured, and the story becomes all the more compelling. We need to know about these things, as watching the news gives us insight into who we are, how we’ve gone terribly wrong, and our need to look for remedy’s to the sin that runs so deep and wide in our world. But sin should never justify further wrong actions or lapses in common-sense and good judgment. Specifically, I’m thinking about two threads that are developing fast in this sad and compelling saga.

First, there’s the media’s obsession with the family of Jared Loughner, the young man who planned this out and pulled the trigger. We’ve seen the scene before – media trucks, bright lights, and a growing bank of cameras that are all part of the makeshift camp that sits outside the Loughner’s home. What new news does the media expect to gather from a set of parents who are horrified, in shock, grieving, dizzied, and wondering what to do next? What are they expected to say beyond what’s already been said in the statement they released? And why would so many of us choose to stay glued to the television set voyeuristically watching, all the while hoping that something new will happen and we won’t miss it when it does? These people need to be left alone.

Second, there are those unbalanced and terribly misguided folks from the Westboro Baptist Church who have announced their intentions to show up to make a scene as those living and grieving bury their dead. We know for a fact that these folks have a history of bad theology and bad judgment. Is additional airtime helping the situation, when that’s why they choose to show up in the first place? Perhaps the media machine could for once make a unified decision to let these people exercise their first-amendment rights without having to tell anyone that they’re doing so. The media needs to leave the folks from Westboro Baptist alone, just like the folks from Westboro Baptist need to leave grieving families alone. . . that is, unless they want to truly minister to those who mourn.

Sadly, one thing we can’t deny is that we’ve grown to love watching this kind of stuff. Maybe we need to leave it all alone, cut off the supply by cutting off our demand, and get on with the more important aspects of living life in God’s world.

4 thoughts on “Leave Them Alone. . . .

  1. You forgot the other terribly sad aspect of this story – the fact that the national conversation about it so quickly deteriorated into political finger pointing. Some on the left are blaming Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, etc., and some on the right are accusing the left of trying to profit politically from this tragedy.

    The whole conversation makes me sick, and doesn’t leave me with much hope for political dialogue in America.

  2. Joe, this whole conversation makes me sick also. But I do think it is extremely important to educate ourselves as to who, is saying what. Jesus is the Gold Standard. Can we imagine Jesus saying any of the following:
    GLENN BECK – “Hang on, let me just tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?”
    SHARRON ANGLE (NV GOP Senate nominee) – “We may have to use second amendment ‘remedies’ (right to bear arms), ….. to take our country back”.
    JESSE KELLY (GOP opponent of Gabrielle Giffords in AZ Congressional race) – held a fundraiser, “Get on Target For Victory – Help Remove Gabrielle Giffords from Office. Shoot a Fully Automatic M16 With Jesse Kelly”.
    TRENT HUMPHRIES ( Tucson Tea Party founder) – “ I blame Giffords…..why would she attend a public event with no security whatsoever?”
    MICHELLE BACHMANN (MN GOP Senator) – “I want people armed and dangerous.” in reference to blocking global warming legislation.
    SARAH PALIN (GOP Presidential nominee) – “It is time to lock and reload and take our country back”. Back from who? The largest majority ever to vote for a president?
    SARAH PALIN – “These are the districts we need to ‘eliminate’, designated by the bulls eye.” – in reference to a rifle’s crosshairs super imposed over 20 Democratically held legislative seats. Gabrielle Giffords being one of them.
    RUSH LIMBAUGH – “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray (the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King). We miss you James. Godspeed.”
    ANN COULTER – “ We should invade their countries (Arab), kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”
    JERRY FALWELL – “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped [9/11] happen”’
    Which of these statements can you easiest imagine coming from the mouth of Jesus? To become more knowledgeable concerning the incendiary hate speech of these miscreants, may I suggest following John Amato’s blog – “Crooks and Liars”.
    This hate speech is so very upsetting to me, and the fact that I feel God would want me to condemn it, are the reasons I’ve written so much.

  3. Walt, this is confusing. I sent a long comment and received a message that it is too long to send. Then returning to the comment section it says “Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval,” Which is it. Sorry to bother you.

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