Saturday, June 18, 2016

Faith without works is dead

Again. Another gun violence tragedy. I am simultaneously numb and livid. It's taken me nearly a week to get my thoughts out from my head onto this page.

I really don't know what to say except I am sorry. 
I am sorry the victims are dead simply because they were out having a good time with people they loved. 
I am sorry the killer had legal access to such a powerful and deadly weapon, and perhaps most lethal of all, an Internet connection.
I am sorry some families learned their loved one was gay and gone in the same breath.
I am sorry that I am part of a faith and denomination that has been complicit in making the LGBTQ community "other" rather than embracing them fully as children of God. 
I am sorry that some Christian people feel the need to demonize all Muslims out of fear and ignorance.

I am sorry. 

At times like this when harm has been done my Christian faith tradition calls me to identify my role in the harm done, to repent, and to work to repair the rift caused by my actions. 

Though I may not be the one who pulled the trigger in this evil act, my silence and hesitancy to step out and lift up, protect, and affirm my LGBTQ brothers and sisters is just as dangerous. Not defending my Muslim brothers and sisters against the hateful speech being spewed against them is also wrong. 
I am sorry.

But sorry is just a word.Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Faith without actions is dead (James 2:17). 

As my family did previously after the Sandy Hook massacre we will be completing 50 random acts of kindness, one for each of the victims. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." We will also be reading books to learn more about peacemaking and other religions. We attended a vigil sponsored by PFLAG Charleston

I've also written my representatives about working for common sense gun legislation including assault weapon bans and background checks. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
and Everytown for Gun Safety have resources for talking to your elected officials on their websites and Facebook pages. 

We will fight fear with facts. We will open our hearts, though our first instinct might be to close off. We will listen and learn. We will speak out when necessary.
 Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me and my little family. 

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Christina! And guess who in my community held a prayer vigil last Tuesday night for the victims of the Orlando massacre? The Muslims at our local mosque. Open to the community. I was so thankful to be there, hosted by a persecuted group in support of another persecuted group. The visitors were invited to come up to the microphone and say a few words, and 2 from the LGBTQ community were among those who spoke.


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