Know What They Say About Assumptions?
STORY UPDATED 11/14/14*
Last night as I swiped through my Facebook feed I thought I saw that another Unitarian Universalist church had been victim to a hate crime. But I wasn’t in the mood for another thing to be mad/sad about so I pretended like I was impervious to the click bait.
In the office this morning (yes that’s right, I get to work at UUA Headquarters for a couple weeks) colleagues were abuzz with mis/information about the incident.
I’m sure by now you’ve seen Maybe you haven’t yet seen this article, when I did a search in Google News, it was nowhere to be found. [We’ve verified only one news source published this story from which all related posts were generated –Ed.] Well, you tell me if you think this is news worthy. This was featured on the Atheist blog: WhatWouldJTDo? (tagline: “fighting religion tooth & claw”).
What story does this tell? What picture does this paint?
Okay, now by looking at the picture below, who would you say did it? This is from a “progressive news & media coverage” website called Crooks and Liars:
Well, when you read this post in the Arkansas Times it becomes clear that while yes, a church’s window has bullet holes in it and yes, the president of the church board received a hate filled letter, the two events happened two weeks apart and there’s no reason to believe there is any correlation.
[Thursday evening, Nov. 13 it was reported the Mountain Home Police Department concluded its investigation, finding the hate mail and window incidents are not related. Read the story in the Baxter Bulletin.-Ed.]
In fact the Fellowship’s lay minister, Mrs. Hurley, says the bullet (actually pellet gun) holes probably came from “teenagers with a BB gun [who] might have just popped off a few shots.” Who knows, it might be teens, but you can’t tell that from the bullet holes.
As for the anonymous letter writer, Mrs. Hurley says, “I’d arrange for him to have five to ten minutes of time to speak at our service Sunday.” I interpret Mrs. Hurley’s invitation as a demonstration that she, as a person of faith, is not afraid to stand up for what is right. But I don’t think I would be brave enough (if that’s the right word) to attend church with my kids that Sunday.
What’s your take? We’d love to hear from you.
Oh, and if you want to send our friends at the UU Fellowship of Mountain Home a blessing, prayer or kind word, you can find them on Facebook.
* “They make a donkey out of you and me.”