Thoughts on Boston Marathon Bombing

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. . . What Your Definition of Terrorism Is #

I heard a lot of people giving their opinions of what constitutes “terrorism.” Here’s the United States Code:

Definitions … the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;

Let’s stick with that one. To be terrorism, all of these five elements must be present. You can use it as a checklist:

Politically Motivated
Perpetrated against noncombatant targets
By subnational groups or clandestine agents

Two bombs don’t make it terrorism, and no bombs don’t mean it’s not.

The Real Tragedy Was Apparently in Hollywood #

With everybody focusing on the victims in Boston, few took time to pray for the other victims. I’m speaking, of course, of the B-List celebrities compelled to inform the world via Twitter how the events in Boston ruined their days.

It’s nice of the pretty people to acknowledge terrible events. It would be nicer, though, if they could do so without begging for sympathy over how bad they feel.

I’m not talking about all celebrities. Some, like Ben Affleck, focused on the people of Boston, mentioning himself only in the context of conveying love to the people back home.

It’s difficult to know what to say, but “this really screwed up my day” just doesn’t feel right.

I See Good People. They’re Everywhere #

As always, the positive stories trump the negative ones. I don’t know how many people were involved in perpetrating this evil, but already 11 12 acts of selfless heroics have hit the news. Hundreds of Bostonians opened their homes to anyone who needs them, for instance.

People are good and can be trusted to do the right things when called upon. Some cannot, but they are few.

Seek out the stories of good. Read five positive stories for every negative you read.

Motives Matter #

Motives matter, as does logic.

Someone name Chance Tate tweeted

I am so ashamed that “Saudi” and “Muslim” are trending. You didn’t see “white” or “Christian” trending, after sandy hook.

The comment is logically flawed.

Recent history shows that Islam is a motive in many terrorist attacks, but no one claims that Adam Lanza’s motive was to kill the enemies of Christianity. Or whiteness. Lanza’s motive was apparently bat-shit craziness. So was Loughner’s. And James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado.

Motives matter, and the COEXIST bumper sticker on his Prius doesn’t absolve Mr. Tate of the need to think beyond his own prejudices. It’s people like him who encourage terrorists to kill and kill again.