It’s a sad day in Colorado. Our collective hearts hurt.
I didn’t want to blog today. Blogging in response to everything that happens in the news can come across as knee-jerk, reactionary, self-serving, and exploitive. We’re called to “pray without ceasing” — not to blog without ceasing. Sometimes reverent silence is what is needed.
But I’ve been asked for a response to what just happened. So, I’m not writing a blog. I’m providing a Public Service Announcement:
1. The single best way for us to respond at this time is to give blood and/or plasma at your local Red Cross or similar agency. This saves lives.
** Colorado Locals: Bonfils Blood Center is asking for blood donations, especially O neg, A neg and plasma. The need will continue for many days, so if you can’t get in today, call 303.366.2000 to make an appointment for early next week.
2. It’s time to end the antiquated prohibition that ban gay men from giving blood. Here’s how to contact HHS and urge them to end the antiquated ban that prevents gay men from giving blood. They bleed red too and I’ll happily welcome their blood should my son or I need it. http://www.hhs.gov/ash/contactus/contactus.html.
3. Capital punishment isn’t the answer. Killing people to teach people that killing people is wrong is oxymoronic. It also costs more to the taxpayers than incarcerating someone for life. But most importantly, it goes against our faith and cheapens human life and perpetuates the failed myth of redemptive violence.
4. Calls for an increased in concealed carry handguns isn’t the answer.
One out of every five Americans will suffer mental illness at some point in their lives. Who are any of us to think that we won’t be one of that number?
Studies also show that people’s handguns are more likely end up harming them, or one of their loved ones, than it will be used to “shoot a bad guy.” Moreover, James Holmes was wearing a helmet, a gas mask, and body armor.
5. What would help a lot is to enact true universal health care in this country that provides mental health coverage. Here’s how to write our congresspeople and urge them to do that: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
6. Another thing that can surely help is for each of us to smile at more people more often, hug more people more often, and tell more people that we love them more often.
7. Pray for the victims and their families and loved ones — and also for the shooter and his family and loved ones.
8. Finally, here’s a song by my friend Amy Steinberg that may help soothe some tender hearts.
Thank you for your prayers for the people of our state during this difficult time.
The Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor. He is the author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity. In addition to contributing to Patheos, Roger also blogs for Sojourners, Huffington Post, and Elephant Journal.