I have officiated at many funerals, supporting families in their grief; I have experienced loss, I have been to untimely funerals and lived through national and international tragedies. Yet, it took this unspeakable massacre to really teach me.
What I've witnessed following this recent tragedy convinces me that the social and spiritual ills encircling our world can be solved through concerted efforts at dialogue, inclusion and compassion. Try love, not fear, not cursing the darkness -- or shooting at it.
The CEO of the NRA demonstrated how completely out of touch he is with what mental illness is and what it looks like. For example, would we call someone suffering from depression a lunatic? How about after a school shooting?
Shock, sorrow, surprise. Since the Newtown murders on Friday, Dec. 15, this trinity of responses has reverberated in the media and public and private exchanges among observers to the slaughter. But how can any observer be surprised?
As proud as I was of how my magazine chose to approach the topic, I was more than a little disturbed at what seemed to me an overall exploitation of the death of Noah Pozner, the one Jewish boy who was killed in the attack.
The politicking began, not surprisingly, as soon as the sirens faded in Newtown. Ardent appeals for stricter control on assault rifles were met by equally strident calls to arm classroom teachers.
Praying is not enough. We must assume responsibility for what has happened in order to ensure that such things never happen again. We must remember, as Edmund Burke famously said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing."
What kind of warped morality and fraudulent religion would say that God allows the slaughter of children because there are no prayers in public schools?
Help us to stand up together and speak up together and pray together and act together to make America safe, just and right for all children.
Jesus showed us that there are times when we must stand up and express truth to power in constructive, meaningful, unyielding ways despite the possible consequences. Just as God is righteously angered over oppression and injustice, so should we be.
As I grew up and went into ministry I got a bit bothered by the purée of Gospel that is the typical church nativity play. But this week, I went to a Christmas Program and nativity play at my son's parochial school, and I survived.
With every massacre, we die a little. A little enjoyment, a little pleasure and a little freedom are removed from the American soul and from the soil of this blessed land.
Mary believes, Mary ponders, Mary grieves -- an inspiration to modern people, ever experiencing extraordinary joy and extraordinary loss in the midst of ordinary life.
We owe it to our future generations to reduce gun violence in our country. We owe it to the children of Sandy Hook -- and the MANY victims of gun violence --not to just "move on" this time.
What carries Christians through times like these is their faith in the God revealed to them though the life and teachings Jesus.
They say when you have kids, everything changes. It has. During my first school shooting, I was a baby myself. This time around, I have two of my own little babies. And it all just hits too close to home.