We prayed at church yesterday for the victims of the attack at Fort Hood, remembering to God's care those who died there, their grieving families and friends, and the wounded recovering in hospital.
As I reflect on this tragedy, I'm awed by the courage of the police officer who stopped the attacker and by the soldiers who risked their lives shielding victims from bullets, getting people to safety, taking care of the wounded--all the while risking their own lives. We have great people in law enforcement and in our military.
I hope the Fort Hood tragedy is not magnified in the coming days.
The alleged attacker is a Muslim, an Army major, and a psychiatrist who counselled soldiers after their combat service. No one is sure why he went on this rampage, although some in the media, especially radio and TV demagogues, are speculating that this man was motivated by religion, that this attack was his own personal jihad.
Nonsense. The attacker committed these terrible acts because he was mentally ill, not because he was a Muslim.
Americans who are outraged by this attack, instead of clinging to the illusion that it's the result of religion, should realize that it's the result of a society that worships guns, glorfies violence, and makes it easier and easier for everyone, including deranged people, to buy guns. Should gun attacks really surprise us anymore?
Today, I emailed a Muslim colleague who participates in the Springfield Interfaith Alliance, which includes other Muslims, together with Jews and Christians. I told her of my prayers for her faith community here and nationwide. I promised my support, told her that I was uriging my church to remain focused on our work for interfaith understanding and partnership for furthering God's work.
I hope this tragedy will stop in Fort Hood and not radiate into the rest of American, in waves of further prejudice, hatred, and violence against Muslims. That would be a greater tragedy still and one that we could have prevented.