So I waited a couple of days to say this, out of reverence to those deceased and injured in Tuscon. I waited in silence and prayer for those innocent people victimized by the tragedy of a madman.
So something really sad and disgusting happened, namely the way the media portrayed the event as a symptom of conservative movements like Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
It looks like the shooter simply went berzerk. In a completely random act of madness he ruined the lives of many. Finding blame won’t save anybody. It will not prevent more random madness from hurting others. That is what this madness is, it is completely unpredictable and unprecedented.
It must have been Hip Hop music, or street science that influenced me to take everything the media entertainment industry spoon fed us at face value. Somehow some of what I have seen in the past few years have confirmed that. Maybe this was lingering beneath the surface, and the sudden tragedy in Tucson gave the pundits a scapegoat for their delusional paranoia.
I am making a point here, of speaking exclusively of liberals in the media. It already seems to be popular and acceptable discourse to dismiss the Becks and Limbaughs as “out there”. Yet, its difficult to pinpoint one person for this.
At the same time, I am just not one to believe that I could go anywhere to find some kind of unblemished unbiased approach to the presentation of events, however it still gets to me. It is like the news media is supposed to help us understand events, and instead the news media rather wants us merely to understand and back them up in their own ideology. And the talking heads have turned into World Wrestling Entertainment, where we shamelessly tune into MSNBC and FOX news with characters from the MTV Real World. The entertainment industry news media does an awfully good job of exposing themselves as a league of extreme liberals obsessed with misgivings of their detractors, real or imagined. Simply said, the news media should really be working on helping us to Understand those we differ with.
Obviously, there will be a time and place to reasonably and critically debate policy. A tragedy is no such occasion. I think that the remarks of the President at the Memorial Service bear attention.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, “when I looked for light, then came darkness.” Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.
For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.
So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.
But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.