Readability

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-​fiancée. 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!

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!