You know how every once in a while, you’ll see a photo of a celebrity from some movie they were in, with a quote attached to the picture? Sometimes it’s bogus. Sometimes it’s partly true. In fact, I just stumbled across that partially true Ben Stein quote about Christmas that was being “shared” on everyone’s Facebook page. Come to find out, it was only part of a statement he made, and is actually several years old. Well, I’m not sure how much merit there is to this, but whoever wrote it had a great point.
Apparently, actor Morgan Freeman commented on the Connecticut shooting tragedy, saying, “Turn off the news.” Here is what he (supposedly) said to back up that statement that has been circulating on Facebook.
“You want to know why (you should turn off the news)? This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
Whether this is the real Morgan Freeman or a Facebook phony, it sure is a refreshing perspective, and much needed relief from the sickening details that you can’t help reading by opening your browser or turning on your TV.
Let’s take Freeman’s advice, whether it was really he who said it or not. Pick a name from this list to remember.
I’m committing to pray for a few of these families. We are definitely to weep with those who weep, but to consume our minds with horror will cripple us from being a comforter and encourager. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think about such things.”
Here is something admirable – the heroic actions of the teachers who saved their students by hiding them in bathrooms and closets. Here’s something lovely – the father of Emilie Parker who publicly expressed gratitude for her life, forgiveness to the shooter, and credited his daughter’s beautiful heart to his “Heavenly Father,” just one day after her tragic death. Let’s no longer dwell on the evil, but lets commit to prayer for these devastated families.
Here are the names and ages of the victims:
Charlotte Bacon (2/22/06), 6 years old, female
Daniel Barden (9/25/05), 7 years old, male
Rachel Davino (7/17/83), Staff member, 29 years old, female
Olivia Engel (7/18/06), 6 years old, female (pictured above)
Josephine Gay (12/11/05), 7 years old, female
Ana M. Marquez-Greene (4/4/06), 6 years old, female
Dylan Hockley (3/8/06), 6 years old, male
Dawn Hochsprung (6/28/65), Principal, 47 years old, female
Madeleine F. Hsu (7/10/06), 6 years old, female
Catherine V. Hubbard (6/8/06), 6 years old, female
Chase Kowalski (10/31/05), 7 years old, male
Nancy Lanza, 52 years old, female (mother of shooter Adam Lanza)
Jesse Lewis (6/30/06), 6 years old, male
James Mattioli (03/22/06), 6 years old, male
Grace McDonnell (11/4/05), 7 years old, female
Anne Marie Murphy (7/25/60), Staff member, 52 years old, female
Emilie Parker (05/12/06), 6 years old, female
Jack Pinto (05/05/06), 6 years old, male
Noah Pozner (11/20/06), 6 years old, male
Caroline Previdi (9/07/06), 6 years old, female
Jessica Rekos (5/10/06), 6 years old, female
Avielle Richman (11/17/06) 6 years old, female
Lauren Rousseau (June 1982), Staff member, 30 years old, female
Mary Sherlach (2/11/56), Staff member, 56 years old, female
Victoria Soto (11/04/85), Staff member, 27 years old, female
Benjamin Wheeler (09/12/06), 6 years old, male
Allison N. Wyatt (07/03/06), 6 years old, female
*Update: Quote was not from Morgan Freeman. It was a hoax. Read about it here. Still an awesome quote though!