Monday, April 22, 2013
There seems to be people out there of progressive/lefty persuasion that are talking a lot about the tragic way Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's life turned out. A bright, seemingly sociable kid ends up seduced into violence. It falls neatly in line with traditional left-liberal concern for identifying social factors that lead people into criminality, and lamenting those that fall into it.
The conservative/right response has been swift and snarky, piling on taunts of sympathizing with the terrorist, because there should be no room in the heart for one who does such evil. Each competent individual is a moral agent, fully culpable for their actions.
So which worldview is right?...
Why can't it be both? Sympathy for a life given to violence is not anti-sympathy for their victims, because love transcends evil. Nor is it an argument for clemency. Maybe it's fair to speculate about the priorities of the person who first writes a poem for the criminal before writing one for their victims (if that's even the case for Amanda Palmer). But lets not forget that we all, at times, have murder in our hearts.
Pray for the victims and pray for Tsarnaev.