Everyone’s indignant at the behavior of Paula Deen (and Anthony Weiner and Ryan Braun), but Tim O’Brien, SJ, strikes a note of caution.
In moments like these, I find myself pondering a very uncomfortable question: who or what did I go out there to stone in the first place? In other words, how much this is about the woman taken in adultery, really? Or, as I sit with my cursor blinking in the comment box of a story about Paula Deen, how much of what I want to write is truly about my sense of indignation that she used racial epithets?
More often, I fear, it’s about me. (It usually is, let me tell you.) And more often than I’m comfortable admitting, what I want to stone in “them” is a slim shadow of what I want to stone in myself.
What I deny to others in such situations – mercy, love, compassion – is exactly what I need the most.