“And maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.” (1 Peter 2:12 NET Bible)
On Monday, April 15, at 2:50 p.m. a bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon. A second bomb exploded a few seconds later. I heard about it shortly thereafter and posted the following facebook status at 3:38 p.m.: “At the Boston Marathon? What's wrong with people?” Not one of my better posts – just a gut reaction on the spur of the moment.
I reacted quickly, but the left reacted even more quickly. By 3:22 p.m. Charles Pierce of Esquire.com had already “cautioned” us against “jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism” and warned us “to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts.” The implication was clear enough – this looks like the work of right-wingers. Pierce did not have to speculate alone. Later that evening Michael Moore initiated a series of tweets implying the same thing that Pierce had. Moore suggested that he could put “2+2” together, a backhanded insult to anyone who didn’t reach the same simple conclusion that he had.
And so it went for days. You probably saw the same coverage that I did – the talking heads perched on the edges of their chairs atingle with the anticipation that some right-wing nut might have been responsible for this. Typical was the April 17 CNN piece asserting that the pressure cooker bomb formula has been used, not only by Islamic terrorists, but also “has been adopted by extreme right-wing individuals in the United States.” Seriously.
Well, now we know that the bombers were Chechen terrorists after all. So should we expect the sheepish apologies to start flowing as fast and furious as the slanderous innuendo? Of course not. I guess Michael Moore has “apologized” in his own way – he tacitly acknowledged that he had slandered the right by tweeting a lame joke about his error. I guess the victims of his false speculation aren’t worthy of a real apology. It’s almost as though the left-wing media apparatus is channeling Roseanne Roseannadanna with a collective, “Oh, never mind!”
So be it. We all have a tendency to assume the worst about those who differ from us. We even have words for that tendency—words like “prejudice” and “bigotry.” I’m certainly not immune, so I suppose that I shouldn’t throw stones. But I do pray that the next time I publicly assume the worst about a group and am proven wrong that I will have the decency simply to apologize, without jokes and without excuses. Now that I’ve written this, I suppose there might be someone there to help keep me honest. I hope so.