Caitlin Michelle-Desjardins: “A Prayer for Newtown”
God, who I believe to be Merciful, who I hope to be Healing: let us know you grieve with us today. Let us feel your tears on our skin, your wailing carried on our wind. Do not, do not be silent today. Nor tomorrow. Do more than hear our screaming. Scream with us, oh God.
Bruce Garrett: “Cold Hearts, Bloody Streets”
I wish we could have this conversation. But no. We will have another bitter pointless argument about guns, and wash, rinse, repeat, until the next time some walking time bomb goes off and kills. And then we’ll do it all over again. And the bullies will still rule the school hallways, young men will still be fed the idea that their manhood depends on dominating women, predators in business suits will still raid and loot the life savings of working people and be exalted as job creators, preachers will still preach that god hates atheists, liberals and homosexuals and that god made man to rule over women, and politicians will win votes by promising to take food out of the mouths of poor people and be regarded as statesmen in their hometown newspapers. And we will go to bed some nights when the news is horrifying, wondering why oh why can’t Americans look at one another and see a neighbor whose life is worth cherishing too.
Ashley-Anne Masters: “All is not calm; all is not bright”
Then a teenage girl stood up and said she would like us to pray for her friend’s family, because her friend had been shot and killed earlier that week. Our hearts collectively sank as she made her very matter-of-fact request: her friend, barely a teenager, died. From a gunshot wound. And she misses her.
Throughout the service I wanted to lean forward and hug her, to tell her that she’s safe, that everything will be fine. I wanted to tell her that she doesn’t have to be scared to walk home from school alone. But I can’t. This is her reality, and the reality of many on the South Side: guns, gangs, drugs and violence. This is the kingdom they encounter daily.
James McGrath: “God and Tragedy in Secular Public Schools”
The shooting in this elementary school was not carried out by some elementary-age child who had rebelled against God and, as a result, decided to kill lots of people. It was carried out by someone who came into a school where children, despite there being no formal religious activity or education imposed on them, were behaving in a civilized manner towards one another (as much as can be expected from children no matter their religious affiliation). And many lives were saved because teachers in that school, teachers who never imposed their religious views on the children, acted heroically to save their lives.
The claim that this has something to do with prayer being taken out of schools is absolute vile garbage.
Andrew Hackman: “Facebook Faith #5”
Within hours of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, talking heads were on TV and the faithful were on Facebook declaring that we should expect nothing else – because we have kicked God out of our schools.
It seems god is impotent. Like a vampire, he cannot enter a residence unless he has been invited.
… It is a thoughtless position that the thoughtless like to proclaim. Such logic did not hold when an Amish school also experienced this horror. The view they present of their deity is one that no decent person would want any part of.