Love is the Final Fight

From the Switchfoot YouTube video of The Sound (John Perkins’s Blues)

I have been struggling for the right words since I learned of the Charlottesville tragedy. Of course, I denounce the hate-filled act that took a life and put others in the hospital. I denounce racism in all its ugly forms. I joined in with other voices to acknowledge that this was an act of terrorism. Plain and simple.

But, when the dust settles and the loud cries for justice fade to a simmering  fury, it isn’t that plain and simple.

How did we get here? More importantly, how do we escape this rat trap that seems to have perpetually bound us to the doom of repeated history?

I listen to the clamor of voices, and I just want to weep – so much heat and very little light. More knee-jerk reactions are not sufficient to counter the forces that have lead us to this place and have entangled people in their grip since the first man clubbed his brother to death. We desperately need something more!

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Love, Hate and Disagreement through the Tears for Orlando

Two days after the Orlando shooting, the initial shock and horror has turned into residual anger and sadness.  A determined resilience begins to take over that is the best of the American spirit, but the inevitable finger pointing and pontificating are in full swing, even as the tears for Orlando are still flowing.

It is hard to resist the urge to say something. Some should try harder. I hope I am not in that category, but a tragedy the size of the Orlando shooting cries for response. The various headlines I read two days later were the trigger for me.

The first headline was “ACLU Blames Conservative Christians for Orlando Terror Attack”. To be fair, the headline was wrong; the statements were made by two ACLU attorneys who were not necessarily speaking for the ACLU. These attorneys have accused “Christian conservatives” for cultivating a social and political environment that led to the Orlando shooting. They call for solidarity between Muslims and the LGBT community.

Whether one ascribes to the views of “Christian conservatives” (whatever that broad category may really include), the environment in which they operate is the same social and political environment in which the ACLU operates and the ACLU seeks to protect – the one that is the bedrock of the freedoms we have in this country – the foundation of freedom of speech, freedom of association and the freedom to practice (and talk about) the faith of one’s choice.

The same freedoms protect Muslims, gays and queers who advocate for their causes and express their beliefs.

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