Like everyone else, I was shocked and stunned to hear of the shocking massacre in Tucson on Saturday, a clear assassination attempt on a gifted public servant, Gabriella Giffords, their Democratic Congresswoman. Typically, as in every national tragedy, the media began it’s typical feeding frenzy, wondering what this story meant, what it said about our culture. I don’t really fault the media, because shock often leaves people searching for answers. People want someone or something to blame, because we want to push a button and fix it.
But I’m not sure this story is a statement on our country. Many on the left were quick to blame Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh for their harsh rhetoric. I think this is patently unfair and wrong. I’m not a huge fan of extreme rhetoric on the right. I’ve warned Christians often about the need to be Biblical in our public words. Words do matter. However, nothing Palin said or Rush said can be blamed for this guy’s evil deeds. Just like when a medical doctor massacred his own soldiers at Ft. Hood. Many on the right were quick to blame the President for perceived softness on terrorism and an unwillingness to confront radical Islam. Many on the right drew political meaning from that. That too, was wrong.