- Aaron Kyle McLeod
- Angelique Ramirez
- Kimberly Vaughan
- Cynthia Tisdale
- Sabika Sheikh
- Chris Stone
- Jared Black
- Shana Fisher
- Glenda Ann Perkins
- Christian Riley Garcia
These are names of the ten victims slain last week in the Santa Fe High School shooting. Ten human beings wiped off the face of this earth by a kid with a shotgun and pistol. Ten souls with families, friends and a future that won’t be realized.
Most of the victims were children 15, 16 and 17 year old’s. Two were adults, both substitute teachers. All should have been in a place that was safe from this type of violence, a place whose only purpose should have been to educate and nurture. Instead, they were murdered by an angry kid with a grudge. A kid who decided it was alright to murder innocent people with his Dad’s guns.
I am in the throes of my own struggles right now searching for a job but it is very difficult for me to feel sorry for myself thinking about these ten families in Santa Fe, Texas. As I search the internet for job postings these families are planning funerals and memorial services. They are reflecting on a life that was, a life that could have been and wondering why.
The experts and the politicians are pointing fingers in every direction imaginable from video games to abortion. They blame the culture. They blame the media. They blame everything and everybody expect organizations like the NRA that sends them a campaign check. They assume if they talk loud enough and long enough we will all just place the blame on ourselves and let them off the hook until the next time and sadly, there will be a next time.
Something has happened to Americans. We have lost “it” whatever “it” was or is. Something has happened to our morals and our values. Love, compassion and empathy have been replaced with hate, anger and self. Community has been overrun by tribalism, pitting us against them. My beliefs, my views, my stance and my causes are disregarded and discounted because they are different from yours. There is no room for diversity, homogeneity and sameness is the new order of the day in this political and religious climate.
We no longer solve problems and disagreements with civil words or compromise but with accusations, conflict and hate filled tirades. An opposing view is a declaration of war and values are now defined as conservative though that definition means different things to different tribes.
Where is God in all of this? Great question. Is it the liberal God or the conservative God? Is it the God of compassion and love or the God of vengeance and wrath? Is it the Old Testament God or the New Testament God? Whose God are we talking about?
This may sound like hyperbole but I think this nation is in the midst of a civil war. The battle lines have already been drawn with Trump, Conservative Republicans, Evangelicals and the NRA on one side and the rest of us on the other. Will blood be shed? Yes, read the list of names above.