“The First Stone”


The United States has two places named Kansas City. One is in the state of Kansas. One is in the state of Missouri. Yesterday, in the semi-national holiday called the Super Bowl, the football team called the Kansas City Chiefs won. The team comes from Missouri. The president sent out a tweet congratulating Kansas. Uproar followed as people rushed to be the first to call him out for this apparently grievous mistake.

When I was growing up two statements were pressed into me. The first was “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” The second, long before I knew it was a Biblical reference, was “don’t throw the first stone.” I heard these phrases constantly, and they took root in my psyche and my behavior.

Yes, it was a mistake to say that the team was from Kansas, not Missouri. Not an important mistake. Not a mistake to gleefully counter. But in today’s “call out” culture,  people RUSH to cast the first stone. Often of course they do this hiding anonymously or with a pseudonym or calling a radio station or tweeting using an avatar. No fools they, they do seem vaguely aware that otherwise they would expose themselves to stones coming their way.

The overall message we are giving each other is that mistakes are unforgivable. We are supposed to be constantly on guard waiting to deflect that stone bound to come our way if we have a slip in word or thought. Yes, it can be argued that many politicians throw the first stone. Some say that means they are fair game. To them, I repeat a phrase drummed into my head unceasingly “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

24 thoughts on ““The First Stone”

  1. Confession time. I thought the Kansas team was from Kansas. But I know nothing about American football. Perhaps Missouri needs to change the name of that city? Or would that be too awful to contemplate? I can’t imagine a town here with the same name, in a different county, but that’s just me.
    (There probably are some, but I can’t think of them just at the moment.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I found one town with the same name in two different counties here.

        Wellington, Somerset.
        Wellington, Shropshire.
        And another.
        Gillingham, Dorset.
        Gillingham, Kent.

        Norwich here is a city in Norfolk.
        We don’t have a Norwalk.
        I’m guessing there are going to be a lot more now. 🙂


        1. I went to an address in Hartford but was at the wrong place. It turns out that there are two streets with the same name in the city and each has that same number on the house.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Trump’s Kansas tweet is inconsequential in isolation, but perhaps noteworthy only as symptomatic of his larger disregard for facts — whether purposefully, born of ignorance, and/or not worth the bother of checking. But at least, it’s good for making a mountain out of a molehill (or a groundhog hole)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised, Elizabeth — next, he’ll probably try to re-name Washington DC as Trump DC or Washington DT (District of Trump).

        BTW, I wish to retract the words “perhaps” and “only” from the first sentence of my previous comment.


  3. I thought it was hilarious, not because he made a mistake but because he is the President and committed this in writing without fact checking anything. MO and KS are also big Trump states, if memory serves. The least he could do is know his own support group. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m hardly going to get worked up over anyone (even the President), making a simple error. I can’t imagine this mistake had much effect on people, considering all of the other things that come out of his mouth that are far more harmful.


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