Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Biblical lessons in Va Tech wake

Job.jpgIt's not often I read an editorial that begins like this:

IN THE BIBLICAL Book of Job, the anguished hero is visited by three friends who attempt to comfort him by drawing airy and sententious lessons from his agonies. Of course, they end up adding to his troubles; Job endures not only the real pains of grief and sickness but the indignity of having his suffering milked for rhetorical effect.

Thanks to the LA Times for this thoughtful reflection on everything politicians and activists can do wrong in the immediate wake of tragedy. Pushing for gun control; insisting a broader right to bear arms. Blaming the university for not reacting quick enough. Dismissing the attack to a shunned lover's rage.

"I have heard many such things," Job says. "Miserable comforters are ye all." No newspaper is in a position to criticize anybody for capitalizing on tragedy or taking convenient positions. There will be time for both in the days to come. But now is a time to respect, quietly, the tears and the pain of this terrible event.

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