Saturday, December 15, 2012

One More Thing to Do When Tragedy Strikes

We're not surprised, I think, at the volumes of great information filling the Internet in the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (in case you're reading this a few years down the line and don't recall, I'm talking about this). Among the responses I've read, Dr. Al Mohler's has meant as much to me as any. There's a lot of godly wisdom in the world, and we are blessed by the immediate access we have to it because of the Internet. I won't try to add to or replace the thoughtful and comforting words that you have already received in so many places.

But I do want to offer one additional piece of advice that you may not have seen yet. With regard to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, after you've prayed for the victims, snuggled your own children, resolved not to let another day go by without thanking God for them, and taken careful and sober stock of the effects of sin in a culture running hard away from God, I want you to do one more thing:

Turn off your TV.

Listen, this 24-hour cable news cycle in which we live is not natural. The non-stop diet of tragedy that it serves is great for ratings, but bad for souls, I suspect. You already know all that you need to know about this tragedy. Just turn it off.


Christiane said...

keeping prayer vigil helps instead of TV when thinking of the children

from the Gospel of St. Mark 5:40-41
“He took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with Him, and went in where the child was.
He took her by the hand . . . ”

for the children

"Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us,
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas!"

Rudyard Kipling

Dave Miller said...

If the comments circulating Facebook are accurate, Morgan Freeman has a pretty eloquent indictment of the media/24 hour news cycle that feeds this.

Good thoughts.

volfan007 said...

good thoughts.


R. L. Vaughn said...

Amen, Brother Bart. Very good advice.

Anonymous said...

Even better, throw it away.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more.

Anonymous said...

If I know all I need to know, then media has done its job. Hooray media?

If I don't know all I need to know, then why not listen? Go (responsible) media?

If 24 hours is bad, then any amount is bad, too? Turn it off, nonetheless?

Who can decide for me what I know is enough? Bart?

If we knew all we need to know, we would be in a place to enact better behavior, policy, influence, etc. to reduce these types of events? Even if we have enough information to begin addressing the problem, is it clear that we have all the information that would be helpful in facilitating more optimal outcomes? The media can be helpful in this process, no?

Let's keep the baby, but change the water?

Having said that, we have common ground. Let's hope for more responsible reporting and less sensational media that feed conspiracy and hyped-controversy to base constituencies.

We do not have to settle for bleeding leads at the expense of all else, but the cycle we have, natural or not, fills needs, even if all needs are not so filled. Here religious people can be influential in helping people increase their, as Bass would suggest, portfolio of needs. Media will follow for there is profit (e.g., financial and meaningfulness) in it. First, let’s, as religious people, cease most of our negative speak. If we desire better from others, we must be better examples.