It is not uncommon to hear bothersome news and disturbing stories these days. Society can be more predictable in its instability and unfortunate attitudes towards criticism, judgments and unfortunately unnecessary violence. “The greatest human instinct may be censorship,” a famous sports writer was recently quoted as saying. Unfortunately, in many forms, this may be very true.
A religious group in Canton, North Carolina, has announced plans to burn books on Halloween night. Will they set fire to pornography, false choices or rudely written texts? No, they intend to burn the Gospels (oh, only the texts of the NON-King James edition), literature for Christian authors and diverse Christian music. Clearly, the Baptist congregation and their principal pastor see all these things as an insult to humanity, as well as their rather narrow definition of God.
In Westchester, New York, a school district imposed a very minor punishment on a teenage girl who made racist and degrading threats against a fellow student. The escalation of inter-ethnic turmoil, the older brother of the girl and the accompanying delegation of friends increased shortly after a cross was lit on the front grass of the victim’s student.
His 21-year-old brother spent several months in jail for alien smuggling and has now returned to jail for alleged Internet threats against our president. Thank God for the secret service and this beautiful long fence around the White House; otherwise, this lawless group is likely to have a long cross on the presidential scene as well.
You may wonder what’s wrong with people? Surely we have every right to ask. Why do so many people encourage this relentless need to act against anyone they disagree with? We need to consider; what to do if one does not agree to a threat intent?
Although we should all hope that this absurd and unbridled behavior will never be directed at us, it is not completely out of reach (especially since it seems to be a popular pastime).
Carrying a personal alarm can help alert others if you are in danger when you are outside your home. Inside our homes, security services such as alarms, motion detectors and remote cellular surveillance equipment help keep us as safe as possible.
No one wants to incite paranoia or develop unnecessary cynicism towards humanity, but at the same time we need to look for ourselves and our families, and exercise a reasonable degree of preventive skepticism with relative caution. There is a lot of truth to the old adage, “better than sorry security”.