Shoot the messenger

Recently, I've discussed with several people the tendency for others to blame me personally for the things I've discovered. Others I've spoken with have mentioned how others have blamed them as well for the things they have studied and shared with loved ones. For example, one fellow explained that he studied the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and that he was surprised at what he had found. When he shared his discovery with a church leader, the church leader asked him if he had thought about what effect this research would have on his family.

When I first shared my 'research' with those close to me, their first reaction was to blame me as well. No matter how hard I tried to explain that I didn't create, write, or influence these events in any way, but was merely reporting about them, blame still fell upon me for uncovering them, or discussing them. It's as if a silent pact had been made to repress these things and I had broken the pact, betrayed the community by discovering these unfortunate truths.

I'm reminded of Charles Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol' when Mr. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of christmas past. After several fond memories, the spirit begins to lead Mr. Scrooge to the day when his relationship with Belle was severed. "Please spirit, do not show me these memories. Have you no pity?' To which the spirit replied, 'These are the visions of things gone past. That they are what they are, do not blame me.'

To this reply, Mr. Scrooge could say nothing, and remained silent to watch the vision of the past. It was only by looking back at the past, feeling of the pain of that mistake that Mr. Scrooge could hope to reform his life and live a full future.

When Galileo dared to observe the moons of Jupiter and ponder a heliocentric universe as opposed to geocentrism, he was sentenced to house arrest (after a commuted sentence of prison), accused of heresy, and he was forbidden to publish works any more.
Galileo dared to look down the telescope. It is rumored that those that imprisoned him stuck to the traditional interpretations of I Chronicles 16:30 as the universe revolving around the earth, and not vice-versa, rather than take a look down the telescope themselves.

Galileo didn't invent the observation that the moons revolve around Jupiter, 'That they are what they are, don't blame him.' Isn't it better to know the truth, and then deal with the consequences, whatever they may be?

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