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?