No One Is To Blame?


He has no children. All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?


Dispute it like a man.


I shall do so,
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now.


Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief
Convert to anger. Blunt not the heart, enrage it.


Oh, I could play the woman with mine eyes
And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission. Front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself.
Within my sword’s length set him; if he ’scape,
Heaven forgive him too.
-Macbeth Act 4, Scene 3
Yesterday, journalist Ron Fournier asked a question that’s been in the back of my mind all weekend since I first heard of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut: what if no one is to blame here?
What if we didn’t rush to judgement? What if we didn’t waste our thoughts, prayers and actions on assigning blame for the sake of mere recrimination? What if we calmly and ruthlessly learned whatever lessons we can from the massacre — and prevented the next one?
Within hours after the shooting, people were trying to spin the tragedy for their own purposes.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee decided that the reason 20 six and seven year olds were gunned down is because there wasn’t prayer in schools.  In a service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Gary Hall, the dean of the cathedral, called on fellow Christians to mobilize for better gun control laws.  Both Huckabee and Hall believed that  God was on their side.
Me?  I don’t know what God is calling me to do.  I can say I’m not so sure God is calling me to such specific agendas.  Maybe I’m not listening enough.
Columnist Megan McArdle wrote a long post today on last week’s events that has caused a lot of constrenation on the interwebs.  She takes some of the “solutions” being bandied about in light of the shootings and shows their shortcomings.  McArdle wasn’t saying that there is nothing that can be done- but she was saying that every solution has its limits.  We can slow evil down, but we can’t really stop it in its tracks.
American Christianity tends to have this belief that anything and everything can be solved as long as we have God guiding us.  We can solve our sorry state by praying more, or writing that letter to our senator.  If we do these things, then everything will be okay.
But what if sometimes the church isn’t be called to solve something, but to stand with the grieving and just be there?
I’m not saying nothing should be done.  But I am saying that legislation pro-gun or anti-gun, can only do so much.  Yes, God works through the political process, but I think God tends to work more in how we treat each other, how we try to be church and community.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense and it is close to midnight.  But sometimes, maybe what needs to be done is to stand with each other as we deal with the doubts and the hard questions and to know that God is with us.

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