Boston: A lesson in restraint

It has been a very long week and many of us in the religious world are exhausted. I, for one, have slept very little since the week started. Many prayers have been offered and many statements made about the events of this week.

And tonight, this saga is finally over. One suspect in the bombing of the Boston Marathon is dead and the other is in custody. Many people have already drawn their conclusions concerning these individuals. In the court of public opinion has already tried, convicted and sentenced them to death.

But that cannot be our response. We are a nation of laws. Many of us are people of faith. Regardless of which faith you are, almost all faiths teach its followers to show compassion on those who do us wrong. We must wait for all the facts. We must wait for the laws of the land to do their jobs. And in all of this, we must be very careful not to assume facts that are not in evidence.

One such case of this is the case of Muslims in New York and Boston who have been physically assaulted because of the assumption that they must be terrorist simply because they are Muslim. This is not right. It is not the way Christ would have us act. How would you like to be held accountable for Westboro Baptist Church’s hate speech? Or how would you like to be assaulted because of¬†¬†Eric Robert Rudolph’s bombing of abortion clinics? These people claim to be Christians and since they have done these acts doesn’t that mean all Christians are just like them?

Of course not! And the same is true of these radicals. They do not represent all of Islam nor do they represent all immigrants. As such, people should refrain from such generalizations and such radical vigilantism that has led to innocent people being attacked.