The Church cannot afford to be silent about gun violence in America, not only because of the lives it claims, but also because it is connected to issues such as homophobia, misogyny and racism.
Firearms aren’t on the slippery slope; the American people are. We’re the ones whose kids are scared to go to school.
Beneath this star-spangled net of red, white and blue, we are trapped by hate and violence – and entitlement to our weapons.
Trump is correct that we are experiencing a frightening dis-ease in America. Insanity – moral disorder – imperils our people, our nation, our earth. What he doesn’t seem to recognize is that he is the source of much of the chaos, the claims of many evangelical leaders notwithstanding.
It’s a question we have asked countless times: have we reached a turning point? Do our faith communities, whose history began at the place of the skull and the killing fields of a Roman coliseum, have a will or a witness for our assault-weapon-proliferated, executionary times?
Trump isn’t altogether wrong – gun deaths in America are driven by a mental health crisis. However, instead of that un-wellness resting upon a lone shooter or evil terrorist, it is visited upon all of us who still believe that the same circular conversation will actually result in something different.
In the aftermath of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, I read and heard exhortations along these lines: “If your pastor does not call out white supremacy and gun violence tomorrow in worship, it’s time to find another church.” Please, can we stop doing this?
Because we follow the Prince of Peace, the seemingly endless gun violence in our nation affects us in a deep place. Our hearts and spirits feel this violence as a literal assault on our humanity and our faith. So what do we do now?
I’m praying that God will comfort suffering victims and afflict their political and religious victimizers. That’s not a “God bless the USA” prayer. It’s a “Thy will be done” prayer.