Smith: Tolerating death of the innocent

Smith: Tolerating death of the innocent

August 5th, 2013 By Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Several news accounts in just the last two weeks are evidence that we are tolerating the death of the innocent.

A few weeks ago, there was a boycott of the issue of Rolling Stone magazine featuring terrorist, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on its front cover. Tsarnaev, who joined his brother in placing "pressure cooker bombs" near the finish line of Boston's signature race wounding 260 and killing three, seemed to be glamorized.

The mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino honed in on the shallow yet effective strategy calling the provocative cover an 'obvious marketing strategy' to generate publicity and sales.

The editors of Rolling Stone magazine issued a very superficial "unapology:"

"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."

My thoughts? Bovine scatology.

Heard the phrase "phony scandals" in the news lately?

When asked which scandals the President considered "phony," White House press secretary Jay Carney stunningly included the terrorist attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, where four Americans died.

Congressional hearings, whistleblower testimony, and a retrospective analysis say otherwise, pointing to an act of terrorism. The lives of four men serving our nation were and are now little more than a political problem for Barack Obama who was facing re-election and directed the anger toward an anti-Muslim YouTube video.

Joined by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who no-doubt hopes to be the presidential nominee for Democrats in 2016, the President met the flag-draped coffins returning to American soil, both promising justice and closure in these tragic deaths.

To date, the only penalty doled out has been to the YouTube videographer who remains in a California jail.

We can't leave out the recent Texas state legislative protests featuring hundreds of activists armed with tampons with plans to pelt pro-life legislators advocating the ban of abortions after 20 weeks, or five months.

Appreciate that at this gestational half-way point, the unborn child is able to recognize and hear its mom's voice; has finger and toenails that are growing; has a heartbeat audible with a stethoscope; and according to WebMD, yawns, sucks his or her thumb and moves sufficiently for the mom to feel it.

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry shared her definition of viability awaiting the royal birth of England's third-in-line to the throne: "When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feelings of the parents ... not on science ... an unwanted pregnancy can be biologically the same as a wanted one..."

Pulling these stories together with their common thread, it's sadly clear some in our culture reject the value of innocent life.

Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput sums it up: "We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty - these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil."

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm.