Posted by: agapeflower | June 2, 2009

Current Events.

So I’ve been thinking about the Tiller shooting a lot today.  I’ve kept pretty quiet about it for a few reasons: one, it’s incredibly sad to think about for the man and his family.  I don’t want to imagine anyone dying in such a violent and hateful manner (in the supposed name of justice) while his wife and other members of his church family watched, because to imagine it means to know it did happen.  Two, because of the response it has generated.  Not the messages of condolences and the anger by the general media and blogosphere, but the large amount of hatred and fury that is being thrust upon people – people who have never heard of Tiller before yesterday – who are pro-life and who work tirelessly and pray for hours each day to end abortion.  And three, rather selfishly, because the first thought that came to my mind when I heard about the man who did the shooting was “Thanks, guy.  It’s not helping.”  Because it isn’t.  It’s hard enough living as someone who wants to follow Jesus and have that looked upon as something freakish and something that is connected in the script around us as being congruent with ignorance, arrogance, hatred, and, now, “domestic terrorism.”

Christianity – true Christianity – is not that, is never that.  It is, by nature, its antithesis.  It is the love that everyone is seeking in their anger and their frustration and their fear.

Let’s be clear: God does not feel any joy about the situation, just as I don’t feel He condones any type of violence made in His name that ends human lives, lives He created and He loves as His children, whether they’re born yet or not.

I know, as someone who works with the media, that news stories and blogs are blowing up with talking points, folks pointing fingers to Christians saying “See! See! They are all like this! They all hate people who are not like them! They condemn everyone they see, they are full of hate! They are ignorant and backwards and women-hating and horrible, people!”  It serves them well to do so: it generates interest and money and more Internet hits.  But they’re so incredibly wrong, the way highlighting a scandal in the Church somehow “explains” the whole of Christianity and becomes a stand-in for the rest of those who truly pour all of themselves in sacrifice for others.  They’re wrong because they stop their finger-pointing there.  Why not keep pointing? Keep pointing and highlight all of those who do work tirelessly with scared pregnant women who need guidance, and direct them towards other means – besides abortion – to help themselves and their families? Why not highlight all that many consecrated men and women are doing to help those who are in need of help?

A small example: I’ve said I’m without health insurance after I lost my job.  I can’t afford to join my husband’s insurance, and so I attend a health clinic, run by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, for care that is made available to me free of charge until I can find work and get back on my feet.  It is excellent care, provided to me because those followers of God helped as best they could to solve (even the tiniest bit of) a problem.

Good Christians are out there.  People who love God and serve Him are out there, and they are not murderers, are not spiteful, and are not hateful.  They are not all extremists.  Are they sinners? Yes – in fact, that’s a requisite.  But if you’re reading this, so are you.

Please, take this opportunity to learn from each other.  For those who feel that Tiller’s death was justified and desired by God, pray for more mercy and compassion towards those who are not like you.  For those who feel that Tiller’s killer is indistinguishable from all others who call themselves Christian, find one and ask them what they think.  Dialogue.  Talk.  Try to fit into each others’ shoes.

We should all be grieving, no matter what side of the fence you’re on.

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Responses

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