“Ray Rice, domestic violence and hypocrisy”
By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaitt
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
I am the husband of a woman, the father of seven daughters, the son of an abused mother, the brother of five sisters and a Pastor. I wrote some years back that I dated the advent of my manhood to the night I physically confronted my stepfather for putting his hands on my mother. I take the issue of domestic violence and the abuse of women very, very seriously.
I extend that seriousness to the husbands of my daughters and of my sisters, even to the men and the mothers of some of my children have in their lives. I say all this so that what follows is not misunderstood and misinterpreted.
What Ray Lewis did was a cowardly, needless, bullying act meant to intimidate his then fiancé into becoming a submissive, fearful, unchallenging woman. It was another example of the inability of some males to intelligently deal with a strong woman. Some males want to believe that adult women can be treated like children. They are to shut up and do what they are told. Rice seems to be one of those males. When the world saw what he had done there was a great deal of anger and revulsion. Understandably so.
And there was a great deal of simulated moral outrage. The cause of that insincere moral outrage is the inconsistent morality of this present world. If we look at the culture that shaped Ray Rice we know without a doubt that while Ray Rice is at present being focused on, he did not begin this problem and it will not end with him, no matter how much punishment is doled out to him.
I know from the moment it was seen that Rice could run faster, harder and more instinctively than other children around him, he was treated in a very preferential way. He was given the impression from childhood to adulthood that because of his athletic skills, he was the exception to every rule. Literally, he could do no wrong.
We see this in our schools all the time. A “star athlete” will do something morally wrong or illegal and there will be no true effort at making him/her accountable for the behavior. If we will be honest, each of us knows of such an incident. What kind of per-son do we think this creates? It produces males like Ray Rice.
Even worse, this takes place in a culture that believes no behavior is wrong or unacceptable. A culture that is seeking to redefine everything from marriage to politics based on the philosophy of there is no absolutes. A culture that supports the premise of good and evil being extensions of the same thing, and situational ethics are an acceptable practice.
My point is this culture has deevolved to the point where Biblical principles are derided or mocked and every type of outrageous, narcisstic behavior is encouraged. We are in a society where the pursuit of celebrity and the worship of celebrities are perceived as a value.
It is no wonder Ray Rice thought he could do what he did. That kind of thinking was planted in him, a long time ago. Don’t misunderstand, Ray Rice is not the victim, he is the result.
Lastly there is this: we see the media and others painting Ray Rice the same way Michael Vick was painted. As if the criminal behavior they did originated with them and will stop with them. It did not and it will not.
The mob crying for Ray Rice to be punished for the rest of his professional career is wrong. As Christians we believe that sincere repentance will lead to sincere forgiveness. If that’s too philosophical for you, then remember if Ray Rice doesn’t have money neither will his wife or family. They should not have suffered any more than they have already.
Should he be punished? Without question. Should it be forever? No.