There are days when I just want to cry over humanity.
Many of you may have heard of Megan Meier, the 13-year-old girl who killed herself after her “online boyfriend” — actually the mother of a slighted friend — wooed her and then spurned her, saying “The world would be a better place without you.”
We know the name (and address, and workplace) of the woman who incited her death, but faces no criminal charges, because bloggers uncovered it. In fact, the blogging world has blasted a near-unanimous burst of fury against her. For some examples, read the post where her identity was first uncovered.
Read through the comments, if you like. Here are some typical examples:
“I seriously hope Lori Drew kills herself . . . Good riddance to bad effing trash.”
“If I was Megan’s father I would’ve put a bullet in her head. This is a sickening story. How dare LORI DREW, A KILLER not even have an ounce of remorse.”
“Some anonymous douche said ‘Do you want to drive this woman to suicide as well? Would that be fitting?’ Yes. Actually, it would be VERY fitting. And I highly doubt that any of us on here would feel any sympathy for the poor wittle witch who’d driven a little girl to suicide ON PURPOSE and WITHOUT REMORSE.”
Maybe I’m overreacting; I spent much of the day reading and talking about Civil War rhetoric, in which supposed moral and religious leadership sanctioned cold-blooded slaughter because they were so convinced that they were the right side. Well, some of them were. Slavery was a terrible wrong, just like Lori Drew committed a terrible wrong.
But that doesn’t mean that we can adopt the exact same tactics. And the fact that so many people see absolutely no contradiction in inciting the death of a woman because she incited someone else’s death . . . it makes me shudder.
This is how the church went astray, how it so often goes astray even now. We forget that the law of love governs all of our lives, and that even while we work for justice and righteousness, we need to constantly question whether each action fits within that law.
As is so often the case, the historic peace churches provide some of the best lived examples here. After the shooting in an Amish school that left five girls dead, the response from the grieving community was simple. “The Amish neighbor came that very night, around 9 o’clock in the evening, and offered forgiveness to the family [of the shooter].”