Rage

Another school shooting.

From the article:

The scene unfolded on the eve of the Newtown massacre anniversary, a somber reminder of the ever-present potential for violence in the nation’s schools.

I disagree. We need a somber reminder of the ever-present potential for violence everywhere because we are not a peaceful culture. We are a culture of violence and until we admit this deep flaw, we will continue to wring our hands over gun control, prison sentences, etc.

Two big examples on where conversations go when it comes to our culture that show (for me) we’re a culture driven to division and violence rather than peace and reconciliation:

1. After yet another school shooting we will yet again have the very divisive shouting match over gun control. (Just look at the comments section of any school shooting article if you don’t think that’s true.) We will continue to NOT talk about mental health and creating healthy environments that lead to healthy thinking rather than violent outbursts.

2. Mention “immigration reform” and the biggest burst of shouting you get is something about building a better wall at the border to Mexico or shipping everyone “home.” We refuse to talk about healthy paths to actually welcoming people in, getting to know their situations, trying to understand what this broken system has handed us and how we can do better. 

I could go on.

But the problem is not violence in our schools. It is violence in our souls. We are not at peace. We try to ignore the One who is the Prince of Peace… and we get violence. Even more troubling is watching believers who say they serve the Prince of Peace talk more of violence than peace.

My heart’s cry, for believers, is somehow we come to the realization that we are Christians who happen to be Americans rather than how we think now: we’re Americans who happen to be Christians.

It can start with us. We, as believers, could actually fall under the reign of the One who is the Prince of Peace. We could start there.

 

Blame, Blame, Blame

The Islamic world is in upheaval again. Once again, Americans look for blame. We look to something we can quantify. Something over which we can wring our hands.

Even after it has become fairly clear the horrific attack on the embassy in Libya were a coordinated effort that led to deaths of four Americans, we are still wringing our hands over the dumb “trailer” that was on YouTube. Something that may have been out for quite some time, that just “happened” to erupt in protests on 9/11… but it’s not about 9/11 or anything else. It’s about that dumb trailer.

The trailer is dumb. I won’t defend it.

There are a lot of dumb things on YouTube and network TV and cable TV.

What we look for are things to blame rather than solutions.

We need to examine that maybe, just maybe, we got this “Arab spring” thing wrong. We need to step back and examine that maybe, just maybe, we didn’t really do the work necessary to this point to win “hearts and minds” in North Africa, and there is a long way to go.

We also need to understand that just like one really stupid YouTube video isn’t representative of American culture or Christianity, there are reports out, finally, that there are SO MANY moderates in North Africa who long for peace.

As believers, we know there is hurt. I wept watching those four caskets coming off that plane at Andrews Air Force Base. I am angered by the taking of American lives who were working for peace in a region that needs peace.

But, as believers, we also pray. We pray for peace. We pray for safety. We pray for truth.

I will not blame my Muslim friends. I will not blame a video. I will not reduce my thoughts to being angry at all Muslims or all Libyans or all Egyptians.

The world is at boiling point and we need a higher spiritual awareness in our lives as to the way forward.