Friday, June 17, 2016

Everyone and their opinions

My son often says about our dog, She has an opinion about everything.  Pit bulls are strong-willed and bossy, read that as they can be a nuisance, and Nala likes attention and will make sure she gets it.

However, people have opinions about everything and social media and the Internet makes it possible for everyone to broadcast their opinions 60/24/7/365.  Not only in print, but in videos.

Nowhere has this been seen so much as since the Orlando mass murders.  Christians especially have taken to the cyberworld to express something.

These expressions almost always contain 1.  condolences,  2.  expressions of how horrific this is, 3. a search for meaning/call to spiritual renewal/prayer, 4. some reference to the cause--innate human sinfulness or an ideology, 5. sometimes a political reference that guns by themselves are not the culprit, and usually 6. a veiled, implicit, minute reference that despite our empathy and horror and prayers, we still have a difference of conviction about the "lifestyle" of most of the victims.

This is a rhetorical analysis of "condolence as apologetic." I am not sure how I feel about expressing condolences and stating political opinions.  Even more, I am not sure why we have to express condolences this way period.  The people who would read it are not the people (family members, friends of the victims) who would need it.  I am reading the condolences and I don't know any of these people.

I was with colleagues last night and confessed that I could not get my head around that kind of mass killing and was more aware, emotionally, of the child attacked by the alligator at Disney (now, I have an opinion about that, but I will spare you.)  That probably sounded heartless but it was only honest coming from a mom. My son said he felt numb to it, and I said that it would be different if you knew one of the victims.

So here I am expressing an opinion about the wisdom of people expressing an opinion.  Weep with those who weep, we are commanded in Scripture.  These are the children of people my age, over half of whom, according to NPR, were of Puerto Rican heritage. Weep with them, pray for them, but let's not use this opportunity for political advantage.  The politics you have with you always, to paraphrase our Lord.

And yes, I know that the title is not really grammatically correct.

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