Take the Pledge: No More Alleged Accusations

Pledge:  I hereby promise not to read or listen to new stories that contain the words “alleged” or “accused.”

This has bothered me for a long time.  The words “alleged” and “accused” grab our attention.  When I see them in a news story I’m drawn to them.

Even though such stories usually contain unfounded and unproven assertions about a fellow human being with feelings and a family.  The words of Jesus ring in my ears, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Would I want people to read things about me based upon accusations and allegations?

This is a bit personal for me.  I have a friend who was arrested and accused of something years ago.  His name and face led the evening news.  He always maintained his innocence and almost three years later he was found not guilty.  But the damage to his reputation was done.  There was no story with a headline that said, “Alleged Accusations that We Reported on Were Not True.”  To this day, when people see him, the first thing that comes to their minds are what he was accused of, not that he was exonerated.

Additionally, I find myself talking to others about stories like this and it’s tantamount to gossip.  Even if it is about some football player or hollywood star that I don’t know…gossip is gossip.  Even if the person is found guilty of said accusation we as believers are called not to point out and keep alive someone’s worst moment.

What do you think?  Will you take the pledge with me?

3 thoughts on “Take the Pledge: No More Alleged Accusations

  1. I think that this is a great idea, Pastor Robert. It also hits home for me as a good friend has a son in jail right now awaiting a new trial. For various reasons the press found him guilty before the trial even began and it is very hard to undo that. I do not want to be a part of character assassination or a rush to judgement without facts.

  2. I’m sorry. I had to stop reading your blog after I read the statement “Even though such stories usually contain unfounded and unproven assertions about a fellow human being with feelings and a family.” because the statement itself is an allegation.

    I agree with the spirit of your blog. I think your point about gossip is particularly salient. When we listen and speak about these “news” stories what are our motivations? Are they pure or prurient? This same point could be extended to prayer. Jon Acuff, in his blog and book “Stuff Christian Like”, talks about how some Christians use prayer to gossip. They share details about family, friends, and acquaintances that are not kind, necessary, or perhaps true under the guise of loving our fellow man.

    On the other hand, we must understand that an allegation, by definition, is an assertion of fact with the promise of proof. All legal processes begin with an allegation. Getting a speeding ticket begins with an allegation and the individual has the right to contest the allegation if they so choose. Rather than burying our minds in the sand, wouldn’t it be better to improve our minds, to let the sun (Son) shine on our minds, enriching our thinking, enlivening our thoughts. And to then be able to have a more informed and thought filled discussion of the related issues?

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