A wonderful satire website with which I have become acquainted this year beat me to the punch. They said, in far more witty fashion than I could, how tragic events such as the Las Vegas shooting serve as excellent opportunities for us to blame even more the ones we already blamed for the problems we already were whining about. Who’s your bogeyman? Terrorists? The NRA? Minorities? Immigrants? Trust me, you can find a way to blame them. And you probably have already.
Preconceptions are not always wrong. But when we catch ourselves saying things such as, “It’s like I’m always saying,” or, “That’s another example,” or, “Wasn’t I just warning you about that?”, we may be guilty of jumping to conclusions. If we don’t want to be judged on speculation and rumor, don’t we owe the same to our neighbors (Matthew 7:1-2)?
Personally, I wish we had never gotten into this habit of expecting all relevant information within ten minutes and having insightful commentary available to us seconds afterward. When you think about it, isn’t that rather ridiculous? In fact, the only way we could possibly have that given to us is with preconceptions already packaged up, ready for delivery. And if the “informed opinions” are already packaged up, ready for delivery, how rooted in the truth could they possibly be?
Let me urge you to breathe. Feel free to declare yourself ignorant. Save the torches and pitchforks for when you can see the whites of the enemy’s eyes. By talking less and thinking more, you might learn something. About the world. About the enemy. About yourself.