Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why I feel sorry for Ray Rice

I imagine Many of you experienced this recently; either at work or somewhere else.  You found yourself in or listening to a conversation about what a piece of filth Ray Rice is.  But strange as it was to me, I felt sorry for him and began to wonder why.

I watched the new Ray Rice inside the elevator video and contrary to what many have said, I was not shocked or horrified.  The reason I was not shocked by the video is because it contained exactly what I expected to see after watching the first video, Ray Rice knocking out his fiance.

Don't get me wrong, I have no sympathy for the actions of Ray Rice, it is NOT ok to hit a woman like that.  I would say 'it is never ok' but I want to be honest and truthful and I assume we can all agree there are actually times when it would be, such as if the woman were about to stab a baby or something like that, but that's getting off-topic.

Now let's get to why I feel sorry for Ray Rice, I believe in redemption and forgiveness.  Ray Rice made a horrible mistake, but we all have made mistakes, only a few of "us" have had that mistake flaunted for the entire world to see.  That is the surface level explanation, but let's dig a little deeper.

As we all know, the internet allows for information to spread so fast and has led to this global online community, we know this.  I'm not the first to write about the 'mob' mentality, but it still shocks me that we might 'know' about this mentality but it does not stop us from it.  As a culture, we pretend to care so much about equal rights, stopping generalizations and racial profiling, but we are EXTREMELY quick to paint someone with a single stroke when it comes to certain topics.  Do we forget that Ray Rice is a human being, who does both good and bad things?

The "court of public opinion" is a yes or no question.  The question is 'Should we shun this evil person?' or 'Is this person a saint?'  I remember reading blogs in the past about this same topic a number of years ago, and it seemed to say something like this:
"We as a society need to be careful, because this mob mentality is a slippery slope"
Well, we have slipped and are at the bottom.

The message being reported about Ray Rice is that he is a horrible human being, not worthy of playing sports or having any joy for the rest of his life, and that is wrong!  It is hard for most of us to feel sorry for someone who has an abundance of money for running around with a pigskin, but what good is all the money in the world if you have no friends.

Just read what Ray Rice posted on Instagram and see if it reads as someone who is laughing all the way to the bank:

"No one knows the pain that the media and unwanted options from the public has cause my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his [expletive] off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow and show the world what real love is! Ravensnation, we love you!”

Oh wait, I am mistaken, that post was from Ray Rice's wife, the same woman he knocked unconscious in that elevator, who at the time was his fiance, but has since married him and said she is partially responsible at a press conference.  Well, she is clearly just a gold digging whore who is just upset that he no longer will make her millions of dollars.  I say that sarcastically to show that we can even demonize the victim in the situation and paint her as a horrible human being as well.

Please don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying the Rice family are wonderful people, I'm actually just saying they are like you and me, capable of good and bad alike.  As any good internet blog, tweet, post, comment, I should be providing some divisive conclusion which will pick a winner and turn the mob towards anyone who disagrees, but I will be soliciting advice from the only person qualified to give it.

There was a similar situation in which a mob of people were about to kill a woman for committing adultery.  The answer is the answer to how we should feel about Ray Rice: "He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her'.  That man was also God, Jesus Christ.

It may feel morally superior to look down at Ray Rice and condemn him, but if we first look in the mirror, we might remember that time we did something stupid, or that thing we do when no one is watching.  What if someone posted that online and you had enough followers to constitute a mob?

God created humans with the ability to choose good or choose evil, He is Love, and He loves us regardless of our choices, but is also Just and will ensure justice is done in this world.  This is how we should treat others, love first, but without compromising truth.  What Ray Rice did was wrong, but we should still love him and promote redemption.

You may notice a paradox between perfect Justice and perfect Love.  How can a perfect God be both perfectly Just and still Love us completely? The answer is found in Romans 5:

"8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God." v8-9

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