I have recently become aware of the case of Casey Anthony, accused of killing her two-year-old daughter.
I understand that:
- Entertainment and tabloid TV programs have dissected the "evidence" for several months, determining that Anthony was guilty;
- A jury determined that she was not guilty, except for four minor charges that she had lied to the police;
- Those in the media continue to aggravate with respect to the decision of the jury;
- Several protests have been mounted against the decision of the jury;
- Several threats against Anthony's life have been made.
This frightens me. It seems to me there is a new standard in place that is grounded on the premise that if the commercial media and the social media determine that certain accused persons are guilty until proven innocent, they should be subject to punishment as determined by the mob. If we are not happy with the outcome of events, it is OK to take vigilante action; it is OK for the mob to rule.
In the Gospel of John, we hear about a woman caught in adultery and learn that the crowd wanted to stone her to death. We also hear Jesus' response: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8: 7). May we keep Jesus' words in our hearts in these days of retribution.