Theologically Dichotomizing Newton- Grief in the Midst of Agendas (My Wrestle)

Whether it is the deaths of the kids in Newton, Connecticut or the death of the thousands of kids in Chicago; there has to be some action toward stopping the continuance of senseless death. I have read quote after quote, story after story, theological perspectives, thoughts on gun control but I am still just kind of numb.

It is not hard to decipher the motive behind some of the statements. Many folks have used this incident as an opportunity to agenda push. They want to get their point of view out in order to push their agenda more so than to bring solace to the masses. I wanted to be clear minded and focus when I spoke about the tragic incident in Connecticut. There is the one mind-set to push an outcry for the numerous of children killed in Chicago on a nightly bases that has topped 20-30 in a weekend. The same level of attention is not given to those kids as much as the kids in Newton, Connecticut.  Newton was the place where this type of thing should not have happen-the idyllic place. It was the place where folks take their kids to remove them from such utter madness. It was supposedly a safe haven of a school zone. Chicago on the other hand is prime real estate for such a phenomenon. Kid should expect to be killed on those mean streets without much thought at least that is how the media portrays it. The coverage is not highlighted with lament but attacked with contempt for those in Chicago. (I guess by not doing it I have done it anyway)

I then looked at some of the evangelical responses from the right winged Christian groups. Some of these folks figure that pushing the Gospel is to read into this tragedy with a sovereignty of God ethos that fashions a God who is somehow “cool with this.” A God that would have intervened if the so-called issue of prayer would not have been taken out of school. Now, I don’t profess to be God and to know the mind of God but I take issue with them somehow working God into this narrative as hands off participant. Pastor Earle Fisher makes a salient point on his Facebook Status:

Rev. Mike Huckabee (and numerous others who share similar sentiments) has personified the type of reductionist and irrelevant theology that explains the decline of evangelical Christianity in America (especially urban-America)…

God’s providence is not predicated on any group’s corporate prayer… Prayer doesn’t exempt us from death (or tragedy)… In fact it ought to serve as a catalyst of confirmation if God’s presence…irrespective of material outcomes…

Yes, the sovereignty of God is present but the how is brought into question. Did God sanction this terrorist massacre in order to push the agenda of prayer getting back into school or more gun control? Though the sovereignty of God is so near and present there is still a level of human responsibility that must be held accountable as well. For someone to make the asinine statement, “that this was part of God’s plan” without addressing the complex scenarios that lead to such an event is insensitive and immoral. We must be more careful with negotiating terms that personify God as an accomplish to the misdeeds of reckless others.

God in his mysterium tremendum et fascinans is not held captive to my human faculties to give clarity to this act of terrorism. Nor is it proper for me to try to dichotomize this into a racial context that is constantly being seen through the media. But this one thing I know is that over 20 people lost their lives because one young man and families grieve.

…and grief is like a constant leaky faucet that hits the tile in the bathroom as you try to sleep.

Sometimes no words, dialect, or language can adequately articulate the pain that accompanies great sorrow- Rashad Grove

Just my thoughts

2 thoughts on “Theologically Dichotomizing Newton- Grief in the Midst of Agendas (My Wrestle)

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