Friday, June 19, 2015

Ten strategies in a post-Charleston world

1. Examine our own hearts, locate the racism that abides there and root it out. Do the same for every other "ism" or "phobia" that might cause us to diminish, dehumanize, objectify or scorn.

2. Don't say, "he's crazy." Dylann Roof apparently is stark, raving sane.

3. Don't say, "guns don't kill people, people do." Guns, in the wrong hands, if acquired for the wrong reasons and sometimes quite by accident, do kill people. Sensible gun-owners acknowledge this.

4. Beware of easy fixes. I think it would be a good idea to retire the Confederate battle flag, too. But doing so won't eliminate racism. 

5. Don't mythologize this as part of an imaginary "war on Christians." It's part of a long-running and very real war on black people.

6. Don't decide that because the shooting occurred in South Carolina that this is a southern issue. Racism is a national shame.

7. If you're spending time, actually or virtually, among conspiracy theorists --- stop it. These people may not be crazy, but wherever you find them --- on the Internet, next-door or behind the pulpit of your church on Sunday morning --- they are nuts.

8. If you live in a white, straight ghetto --- like Chariton --- broaden your horizons.

9. Pray that those who mourn may be comforted, if you like. Then go comfort someone. There are no angels other than those among us --- we all have the potential to become answered prayers.

10. Pray for peace and reconciliation, if you pray --- then get busy. Prayer also is a collective call to action. If the good Lord intended to impose peace, justice and reconciliation, he (or she) would have done so by now. That means it's up to us. In a Christian context, it's called building the kingdom.

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