Dear Plymouth Family,
Again, I write to you in the wake of another shooting in Colorado. And as I said in my sermon last Sunday, I will continue to be vocal about the need for sensible gun legislation in our nation.
Last night I was in a meeting with our Strategic Planning Team, one of whose members is a Public Defender, providing legal representation for people in a range of cases, including murder. Something she said really struck home: Many of the people who commit horrendous acts like the one at King Soopers in Boulder last night have severe mental illness and they do horrific things…and the availability of guns makes the fallout so much worse.
As a moral question, I wonder what it is in our society that causes so much mental distress (especially, it seems, among young White men)? What message is our culture sending to people that says violence and mayhem are the only answer? Where are the faith communities in all of this? Why are we a lone voice among faith communities for sensible gun laws?
From a spiritual perspective, I cry out, “How long, O Lord? How long?” What is it in the spiritual lives of Americans (who some claim are a Christian nation) that allows us to tolerate shootings again and again and again? What is NOT being said from the nation’s pulpits?
Columbine. Aurora. Colorado Springs. Thornton. Highlands Ranch. Boulder.
Friends, we in Colorado are at Ground Zero for public shootings. Let’s do something about it. Here are steps you can take:
This hits close to home for Jane Anne (who served Community UCC as an interim minister) and for me as a former resident of that neighborhood in Boulder.
In the coming week, many churches will hear the story of Jesus and the Empire’s myth of redemptive violence…that executing Jesus will make it all go away. You will hear about a triumphal parade that led to desertion, betrayal, sham trial, and crucifixion. That should speak loudly to every person who claims to follow Jesus that violence is not his way, nor should it be ours. And we will also hear the story that violence and death is never God’s final word.
Deep peace and more action,