Yesterday’s shooting in Arizona felt like a blow to the gut. We were running our Saturday errands (bakery, pet food, groceries) when I saw the news alert from the Washington Post on my phone. Twitter lit up with all kinds of information, including the erroneous story that Rep. Giffords had died.
Thank God that was incorrect, though others were not so fortunate. A 9-year-old girl who died yesterday was born on September 11, 2001. Her life began and ended in the shadow of horrific violence during a time when society seems to be on the edge of breaking apart.
And, I think we are all responsible. Somehow, we’ve allowed our society to become something cruel and inhumane. We blame, name-call, and pick sides that leave no option for disagreement. I got unfriended by someone last year because one of his web-postings says that “being friends with liberals is a bad idea” (truth is I’m a centrist who leans left on social justice issues, which makes me suspicious, according to Glenn Beck).
Because we might disagree politically, I was evil in his eyes, I guess.
Whatever happened to civil discourse – the very thing that is supposed to be part of a democratic society?
How can those on the fringe claim that we are ‘a Christian nation’ and then condone or actively participate in unChristian behavior? Our words do indeed matter. Whether or not the divisive political climate of Arizona or the U.S. had anything to do with yesterday’s shooting has yet to be known. But, the fact many are asking whether or not that is possible speaks volumes about where our society is.
Wouldn’t it better if that question didn’t have to come up at all? Shouldn’t a Christian nation be known for love, pursuit of peace, and doing for those who are not wanted by anyone else?
The bottom line is, we have exchanged civil debate on ideas for the rampant nobody-wins extremism of ideology. Pick the right one, and you’re with us; choose incorrectly and well, there’s no place for you here.
I hope and pray we will see the error of our ways, repent, and turn back to the better angels of our nature.
The demons have been winning for far too long.