“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love.” — St. Francis of Assisi
Killed six, wounded 14. Was this in Pakistan, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Somalia? No, it was right here in the good ole’ USA. Tucson, Ariz., this time; who knows where the next time? Unfortunately, there likely will be a next time. So what, if anything, will we do about it?
Some are calling for a more civil discourse in our politics. That would be welcome. Outrageous comments, meant to attract media attention, along with sound-bite lies are a disservice to our nation. They fan the flames of hysteria as they reverberate through the media and talk-show echo chambers without anyone bothering to check the facts before repeating the gossip. Outrageous statements or conduct get the attention. The people responsible deserve a big “SHAME ON YOU” and should then be ignored.
We are all partly to blame for not asking, “Why are you telling me this?” and following up with the question, “How do you know?” Too often, people are only too ready to believe the worst about others. There is a rule that should guide us: Before saying anything about someone or something, we should ask ourselves: “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” If we can’t answer “yes” to all three questions, we should not say it.
The suspect in the shootings is said to be mentally unbalanced. We as a nation need a greater emphasis on promoting sound mental health as well as physical health. Preventing these tragedies should be a greater priority.
Finally, we need to challenge our nation’s culture of violence. It is ironic that a nation which insists it is Christian people ignore Christ’s command to love our enemies.
Deacon Arthur Donart, Ph. D.