Gun violence is not an isolated problem, confined only to certain ZIP codes or segments of the population. Everyone in our community is, on deep and profound levels, impacted by the culture of violence that so permeates our lives. With that being the case, communities of faith must not be found absent from participation in the initiatives to address this that is, quite literally, killing our life together.
More than being a matter of Second Amendment considerations, this is a people matter. And if there is anything about which people of all faiths in all communities can agree it is that all people matter. We who populate the many and different houses of worship in this area exist for the sake of serving people. We are duty bound to engage the communities in which we find ourselves: to love our neighbors enough to go and know them where they are. We can ill afford to wait for people to find us. Those days in religious life are over. We must embrace the idea that we have something to share that fosters life and then actively engage with the ones who are nearest to us.
Will churches, mosques, temples, and other faith communities be able to cure what ails our gun-obsessed society? Goodness no! But do we serve a God who has demonstrated a continuing commitment to life for all of God’s children? Absolutely. We must engage people with a love that is deep enough to know them, to serve them, and to share life with them.