I am more than a little heart-sick at this story. And I’m keep the Clementi family in my prayers. Have you seen the story? The shameful treatment of a college student leads him to take his own life.
Ya know, I understand the drive to have the next big viral video. I see people everyday online trying to capture that magic, that big laugh. Some achieve a certain amount of online notoriety, and some simply tear their own dignity to shreds while hurting others in the attempt.
Think for a second about the news stories asking about the rightness of parents who post pics and vids of their toddlers with bong pipes and firearms… why? Because they want a laugh. Never caught those stories? Google it.
And amid all the grotesque stories of cyber-bullying, we have this one… a college roommate and his friend hide a camera to live stream a young man’s love life. That young man then commits suicide in shame. And it’s just all too easy. It’s too easy to plant that camera, to laugh at a friend, to Tweet and post and stream a friend for a few laughs, a few glorious moments of viral power. Tyler Clementi was sold short… his life, he himself. He was worth so very much more than the few laughs his antagonists sought.
I hope at least one person with a webcam and a stupid idea for catching an online laugh will stop and ask… “Am I trading my neighbor off for a selfish grab at a laugh or a few more views? What is my fellow human being worth?” And beyond hoping, I pray that when that person looks inside and gropes around for the answers to those questions, they’ll find love.
And when we’re done praying? Well, then we have to speak and act for love! Speak and act the value and dignity of our neighbors! We have to be love, be the value and be the dignity of everyone around us! For such things our Christ has suffered the cross!
And here’s just a flashback for you 80’s fans… a song I have often sung along with and admired for it’s honest and good questioning of our need to hate…
"People Are People" - Martin Gore, Depeche Mode People are people So why should it be You and I should get Along so awfully People are people So why should it be You and I should get Along so awfully So we're different colours And we're different creeds And different people have different needs It's obvious you hate me Though I've done nothing wrong I've never ever met you so what could I have done I can't understand What makes a man Hate another man Help me understand People are people... Help me understand Help me understand Now you're punching And you're kicking And you're shouting at me I'm relying on your common decency So far it hasn't surfaced But I'm sure it exists It just takes a while to travel From your head to your fists I can't understand What makes a man Hate another man Help me understand