Thinking Through the Arizona Shooting

On Friday, we all lived in the shock and horror as the news reports rolled in. A congresswoman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in an apparent assassination attempt, and several others were killed or wounded outside a Tuscon-area grocery store. All while Rep. Giffords was attempting to reach out to her constituents.

In the days since the shooting, we have heard the typical blame game. It wasn’t long after the shooting that the left began blaming the right; and the right began blaming the left. The activist sides of both political opposites were attempting to spin the shooting to fit their own political needs. Even before we knew anything about the shooter, the blame game started through social media.

This blame game showed a disrespect for those whom were wounded, for the lives that were lost, and for the families that were now left wondering how to make sense of everything. Politics is a game of power, where even the most tragic of days must be spun in order to favor one’s own political views.

Something must change.

We must move past this vile expression of thought. We must embrace civility and concern for the other because they are our brother and sister. Forget the politics, forget the power game, and let us once again be a people who are willing to see others as people, first, and not as a political opportunity.

We must be a country that desires community, once again. We must be a culture that values humanity and the sacredness of life, and not the grab for power.

Yes, power corrupts all, and we have seen how it has corrupt the Political Right and the Political Left, and dare I say, even the Religious Political Right and the Religious Political Left.

Let us be about God’s love to embrace one another. Let us be about God’s call to see the image of God in each person. Let us pray for the victims, the families, and even the alleged shooter and his family. Let us, most importantly, live out God’s call and not the political call as we go forward from today.

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