Friday, April 20, 2007

Black Friday

We are not a nation that mourns well. We do not enter into sorrow and reside there. We do not weep with those who weep. We do not put on sackcloth and ashes. We do not wail in anguish. We do not sit in silence.

Instead, we make soundbites. We use tragedy as selling point. We pontificate. We offer quick answers and opinions. We rant. We hijack for our political agenda. We talk and talk and talk and talk.

For instance,

- within 12 hours of the VT shootings, local radio stations already had promos saying things like "For continuing coverage, listen to [fill in name of radio station]." And "You heard it all here on [name of station] first!"

- Over the last few days I've spent too many hours driving places (which is why this blog has been silent). Which has given me too much time to listen to talk radio. Where I've heard the right wingers state "If those kids in the classrooms had had their own guns, they could have taken the shooter out!" just as the left-wingers were saying "If guns were harder to get, this never would have happened."

- Within just a few hours, blame was being pinned on the university president, on email, on campus security, on immigration policies, on guns, on Hollywood. . .

- witness the minions offering meaningless opinions. The media ran after everybody who had the most tenuous of connections to "get their reaction." College students in Washington telling us all "how this makes me feel," millions of myspace users writing about "how they feel about this," as if their feelings had any bearing on the situation.

Someday, we will need to seek out answers. Someday, the gun question must be dealt with. Someday, we should sit around and discuss how we feel witnessing this kind of violence in our world. If there are officials who responded in the wrong manner, someday they should be dealt with appropriately.

But for now, let us grieve. Let us allow those hurt to hurt. Let us pray, weep, and wail. Let us offer words of comfort and condolence. Let us, as Job's friends did, sit in silence with those who are broken. Let us cry out to our God.

Let us not look to their tragedy and say "well, that's too bad, but let me tell you how I feel. . ."

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