As Americans we have allowed violence and abuse to become normalized in our culture. We speak of being a Christian Nation, with no visible evidence of being such. We’ve closed our hearts to the horrors of war, mass shootings, the abuse of women and the killing of our children. We embrace cruelty, and our actions towards the least of these, has shown we’re unable to truly grasp the teachings of Jesus. We’ve sold our collective soul to groups like the NRA and allowed them to place us in bondage. We’ve taken the world unabridged to mean we can own as many guns, any size, as we desire, while ignoring the definition of the word unabridged. We’ve allowed those manufacturing weapons to create new devices simply designed to find new ways to kill each other; life has no meaning. Those claiming that we are a Christian Nation scream about taking the lives of the unborn, but do nothing to protect the lives of children, or others. Many of those screaming for the unborn see those born as an inconvenience. We no longer see ourselves as a collective, a community, where we lift each other up and help each other out. Many of those who claim leadership see humanity as simply tools to enrich themselves, and to do as those in leadership demand.
Between the greed of weapons manufacturers, the larger gun lobby, the NRA and those living on the desire for violence have been allowed to control how we deal with certain issues facing our culture. Some in the leadership speak in terms of family values, the right to life, and making America great again, but they are simply dragging us down to the primal impulse of violence and revenge; which Jesus spoke against. They speak in terms of unity, but they divide; they speak in terms of building, but they destroy; they speak in terms of grace, but give only judgment; they speak in terms of care, but they ignore the cries of those in pain; they speak in terms of life, but give only death.After each shooting, after each act of violence, we hear those leaders speak in terms of thoughts and prayers, but they don’t act upon those thoughts and prayers; they use the term thoughts and prayers as a way to deflect from the conversation of gun violence; they don’t hear the collective prayers of the many who seek change, and they ignore the teachings of the Divine centering on peace, love, grace and compassion. Those who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus hide their collective heads in the sands of violence and ignore those who are shouting for change. Those leaders have become so dependent on the handouts from organizations like the gun lobby, corporations, and the NRA that they feel loyalty to them, and not to us. Organizations who live off the life blood of violence and know that is peace, love, grace and forgiveness took hold of our hearts they would be out of business. There are those who will claim that this is hyperbolic and that I am painting with a broad brush, but I have found people who claim such things are the ones who desire to keep the status quo.
It’s time we demand those who profit off violence hang an out of business sign on their collective doors. It’s time for those of us who desire for this cycle of violence to go beyond thoughts and prayers to act. It’s time we take our collective voices and demand our elected officials to pass meaningful, realistic, laws designed to stop gun violence. We need to let them know that if they refuse to make realistic, meaningful and common-sense gun laws we will collectively stand against them; we will campout at their doors, we will call them into account, and if they desire not to hear our voices we will do everything within our power to elect those who will hear.