Weeping with Christchurch

I’ll weep for the Muslims in New Zealand. I’ll weep with the people of that nation, Muslim or otherwise, who had their world shattered when some maniac decided that the way to effect change in his world was to go shoot up a mosque.

I will weep, remembering that, in Romans 12:15, Paul advised

Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.

Scrolling through the Twitter thread on this topic, we see that, among the genuine outpourings of sympathy, far too many people are using this event to mount their hobby horses. “Trump didn’t say ‘terrorist.'” “If it had been a Muslim shooter in a church . . .” One tweet said the problem isn’t Muslims but Jews, while somebody blamed “immigration.”

This is not the time for gun advocates to gloat over this action which happened despite restrictive gun laws in New Zealand. It’s hard to weep while gloating.

This is not the time for gun opponents to make political hay or blame the NRA for the carnage. It’s hard to weep while politicking.

This is the time to recognize that the solutions proposed by humanity, whether they be politics or direct action, will not solve our problems, be they real or imagined. In Peter’s writings, we read words that seem utterly fitting:

Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.  –1 Peter 3:8-9

Can I be like-minded with a Muslim? Yes, I can agree that it is better to live peaceably than to descend into violence. I can feel sympathy and love and compassion for that person. Such feelings do not require me to agree with them on their theology. They don’t even require me to wish that more and more of those people were living in my backyard. What they require is that I look at whoever is in my backyard and to live in peace with them for as long as I can.

One Tweet stood out to me:

I disagree. Terrorism does have a religion, a religion that goes beyond Islam, Christianity, or any other. Regardless of the professions of the terrorist, their religion is a manifestation of evil and their god is–well, you can connect the dots.