The Perils of Not Verifying

by baldilocks

If your mother tells you that she loves you, get a second source.baldilocks
–Anonymous
The Ray Rice abuse video is being cast in many ways: his fault, her fault, the NFL’s fault, male abusers, female abusers, disparity in punishment between male and female aggressors, blah, blah, blah. Assuming that the Rices get the earthly penalties they deserve and the mental help they need, these opinions are less important than a long-term malaise demonstrated by the reaction to the Rices’ mini-drama.

Let’s roll the “tape.”

The very first incident in the video is committed by Ray Rice. He spits on his then-fiancee. The woman responds by slapping Rice on the face. Then, in the elevator, he spits on her again, enraging her. She begins to hit him again, and, in response, Rice cold-cocks her.

We don’t know what happened before, and, really, who cares? The court of public opinion goes by what it sees and hears…or, sometimes, what it fails to discern. And, this court is as faulty as more formal courts. This isn’t a surprise nor it should it be. All human endeavor is bound to have faults. (Thanks, Adam.)
The more alarming thing about the Rice situation is this: how effectively a group opinion can be formed without that opinion being based on the entirety of objective evidence. No matter how many times this happens, I am amazed by it each and every time.
In this case, many are asserting that Mrs. Rice was the aggressor due to the fact that the initial spit from Mr. Rice was missed. (Full disclosure: I missed it also, until someone pointed it out.) But, here’s the point: many are ignoring the truth of what the video reveals, in spite of the evidence.
As a Christian, I’m mindful of the fact that the Enemy roams the earth as a roaring lion, seeking those whom he may devour via his favorite tactic: deception. I’ve been fooled before and it will probably happen again. That’s the value of prayer, however, and thinking situations through.
Pride, anger, outrage–or even the erroneous assertions of trusted friends–can distort reality. Whether it’s about some sick relationship between a professional athlete and his spouse or about the larger troubles plaguing our country, the truth should be the most important factor.
This little soap opera is a test-case from the Father of Lies.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014.  Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!