Orlando and Religion

Like most of the country, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Orlando today. I don’t understand the senseless violence that persists in this world. I recognize that my lack of understanding of such violence is a great luxury.

I’ve been blessed to live a peaceful life – one where I can pursue the desires of my heart. I don’t have to hunt or beg for food. I’m a woman, and for the most part, I don’t have to worry about social customs that might oppress or hurt me. I don’t have to worry about acid being poured on my face, I’ve been blessed with education. I can go for a walk or run on the street – just for fun. I don’t see armed guards. I don’t worry about war lords.

I live such an amazingly blessed life.

This world is messy and it always has been. I have the luxury of hearing about acts of violence and then scratching my head and wondering, “Why?”

Many of us do.

When things like this happen, we have other aftershocks or other consequential occurrences. People hold vigils. People set aside differences and pray for, serve, and support one another. So many people, when these times of tragedy come up, find ways to bear one another’s burdens. Whether we change our facebook profile to honor that person or group or we donate money, or make a quilt – so many people seem to care.

Another aftershock I’ve also noticed is reckless blame. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t blame the person or people who commit such acts of violence. I’m simply saying we shouldn’t be reckless about it.

Right now, people are blaming all Muslims for this man’s decision. Some people are even blaming all of religion for the ills of the world. This is crazy!

So – a metaphor.

If a wolf, dressed in sheep’s clothing, sneaks into a pasture and starts to kill sheep – how do we react?

Are we confused? Do we start a diatribe against all sheep? Do we say, “Okay! That’s it! Every sheep in every flock everywhere needs to be eliminated because they are violent!” ???

Do we say, “These sheep have been the most dangerous group of animals in the history of the world! Every war, every bad thing, every atrocity – caused by sheep!” ???

Or are we going to be discerning? Are we going to take a look and notice that it was a wolf in sheep’s clothing – then go after the real problem?

Let’s call the evil act done yesterday what it is – evil. Let’s remember that most people – who go to church, who believe, who have faith are good. Let’s not be tricked by the wolf into doing exactly what the wolf is doing. Let’s not destroy one another.

Let’s have wisdom. Let’s love one another. Let’s destroy the thing that is actually destroying us – evil.

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