Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Matthew 26:52 (King James Version)
violence is as American as cherry pie
H. Rap Brown
Again, we as a nation mourn another mass shooting; this time at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Suspected gunman, Chris Harper Mercer killed 10 and wounded seven before he himself was killed by law enforcement.
This is the latest in a cycle of violence that-as Brother Brown put it-“is as American as cherry pie.” For God knows how long, we’ve seen these “angry” individuals with some issue declare their hateful rants to the world and then go inflict their anger and hatred; killing innocent lives that nothing to do with them. As a human being who follows Christ, I am disturbed by this incessant violence upon the innocent-no matter the age, race, sex, or religious beliefs.
In the Scripture text above, Jesus gives us a warning we all need to heed; which basically says that those who live by violence will die by it-be it sword, bullet or bomb. We need to listen-especially in this ever growing culture of violence that allows these shootings. We constantly feed into the lie that violence is the answer-especially gun violence. However, all this violence does is breed more violence like a self-replicating virus which spreads. We’re killing people-and in turn-are killing ourselves.
Violence could quite easily tear apart our society; and as we see, it’s not just in our poor inner-city “hoods”. The violence is reaching into our “safe” suburban and rural places too. And with the myriad of ills plaguing America, it could be just too easy for that one act to occur which could quite possibly destroy us as a people as well as a nation. And it would be a tragedy that a nation that still has so much potential wind up like the crumbling society in the 1979 cult classic, Mad Max.
I know there are many sides to this issue-from gun control to religion to whatever; and we’ve heard these sides time and time again. However, we have not gotten any closer to real solutions. This is an issue that needs to be addressed today-not with pithy words from the White House, or some talking (air)head-but by all of us. For the sooner we face our violent side as a nation and begin to engage it fully, maybe we can have some healing and learn peaceful ways to deal with our myriad issues.
The post’s title is “America The Violent”. A fair assessment? Only we can answer that question.
Peace and prayers for Umpqua, and all those affected by gun violence.