By now, you’ve probably heard about Scott Smith, one of the hosts of the Recovering From Religion podcast. But if you haven’t, the story is here. At first glance, it seems pretty damned tragic, until I read this post by PZ Meyers. As PZ put it:
Let’s get this straight. This man was facing a divorce, and his wife wanted to be free of him.
So he murdered his wife.
He murdered a woman, full stop. Because she wanted to be free of him.
He murdered someone for the crime of wanting her independence.
There is nothing that Smith could have done in his life that could possibly atone for the criminality and inhumanity and selfishness of the circumstances of his death. His behavior was reprehensible and unforgivable. That he killed himself afterwards was not an act of atonement, but of cowardice.
Further, he orphaned three children, who get a life’s dose of trauma and grief right now. This, too, is unforgivable and irresponsible.
He’s right. He is absolutely right about this. If anyone needs to be remembered, it is Smith’s wife Jennifer and his three children. These people need to be remembered, not the man who pulled the trigger. Meyers summed it up best:
Don’t grieve for Scott Smith. Grieve for his victims.
Those are the names I will remember. Scott Smith, not so much.