Sundays are Spirituality Day here at Taking it to the Streets
I’m struggling to find a spiritual tone this morning as I contemplate another round of “killings for Christ” as it were. Along with the rest of the world, I was shocked and horrified by the recent bombing and mass killing of children in Norway. I suspected, as perhaps you did, that the twin tragedies were tied to Al Qaeda or other Muslim extremists – though I must say I was hard pressed to determine why a country as peaceful as Norway would be targeted for politically based hate crimes (because I believe that Al Qaeda is a political, not religious organization that preys on Muslims as much as the rest of us).
When it was found that the perpetrator was a ‘conservative, Christian fundamentalist’ I found it hard to retain my own spiritual centeredness.
My favorite bumper sticker of all time, which I saw ages ago and finally found to put on my own car simply says “Who would Jesus bomb?”. I bought it as commentary on the endless wars as well as on right-wing religious fanatics who bomb abortion clinics, etc.
This “religiously inspired’ murderous massacre in Norway just infuriates me. Though I’m very distressed about the killer’s actions, what I find equally reprehensible is the silence of the right-wing “Christians” on this and other ‘religiously inspired’ acts of violence. Recently in Chicago we have been subjected to anti-abortion activists swarming the streets that lead to the commuter trains with huge graphic pictures that they think will add you to their anti-abortion cause.
Are the lives of teenagers worth less than unborn babies? What about the lives of government workers, just trying to make some money and support their families?
Why aren’t the people who quote the Bible to oppress women and gay people quoting the Bible now to condemn religious fanatics who kill in the name of God?
Going back to my previous post on The Spiritual Universe, if you believe, as I do, that we ARE all one, then how can it make an ounce of sense for killing based on discrimination (they are foreigners, they are Muslims, they are immigrants, they are non-Christians)?
And, of course, if we are all one, then me railing against the religious right and fundamentalist Christians is likely equally crazy.
Holly Near has a great lyric:
“Why do we kill people
Who have killed people
that killing people is wrong.”
My sympathy goes out to the great and peaceful people of Norway (and not just because my paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Norway, though I DO feel particularly connected). In cases such as this, I always wonder what type of trauma or mental illness led a perpetrator to such a path. Where I’m struggling for equanimity is in accepting the silence of the “religious” right. Who WOULD Jesus bomb? Would he just stand by mutely or prepare for his next anti-abortion march? Would he sit smugly in church this morning? Or do you think he’d be out speaking out about the power of love and that we are all one.
I believe that life is sacred and that people who are actually alive and walking around deserve the sanctity of life too. I believe we all lose – each and every one of us – when life is so violently disrespected.
I grieve with the people of Norway and I grieve for all who love freedom, justice and human life. Norway’s suffering is the suffering of the world, just as Japan’s recent losses were the losses of all of us. It’s time to wake up.