The headlines today were full of news about the two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and I wish that all those who were injured may have as speedy and as complete a recovery as may be possible. I hope that eventually, they can move past this great tragedy and go on in time to live full, happy, and blessed lives.
At the same time, I am saddened and sickened that any human being could commit such a callous and atrocious act. I have no idea what their motivation may be, and no one has claimed responsibility as of yet. But whatever their perceived "cause" may be, they have done it irreparable harm. No "cause", however correct, can possibly ever justify the random slaughter of innocent people. Acts of terrorism such as this serve only to prove the inhumanity and completely overwhelming moral inferiority of those who commit them.
Those who stoop to violence have already lost the argument. If this is the best or only way to make their case, they have no case to make. No one will applaud them, no one will understand or pity them, and no one will ever be convinced to their so-called "cause" by their senseless violence. Nor should we allow ourselves to be intimidated by them, whoever they may be. They should swiftly be brought to justice, and then both they and their supposed "cause" should be just as swiftly forgotten.
I am also saddened that the media are turning this tragedy into such a spectacle, as they always do. As sad as this event is, I really feel that we all need to turn off the TV and let the police do their job. Watching this tragedy unfold does not make us better, more caring, or more feeling human beings. It just makes us voyeuristic, which is not an attractive human attribute.
And the media coverage certainly does not help clarify our thinking about these and other tragedies. We need to see behind the sound bites, and try to better understand, and eliminate, the root causes of violence, rather than focusing on the tools used by terrorists and the bloody results. One of the contributing causes of terrorism is undoubtedly the massive media publicity that such events receive. Why give a terrorist an audience?
Our home city, Salt Lake CIty, is the host to the next major U.S. marathon, which happens next week. I hope and pray that this next sporting event can be held without incident, and that it can be a next step on the long road to healing. May we all do what we can to make this a better, more wholesome, and less violent world.