As a Pastor, I am expected to be the calm voice of comfort during times of national tragedy. It is a role I embrace. I am happy to be the voice of consolation, the voice of reason. If I lived in Connecticut, I would be hugging those who are hurting and speaking soothing words of comfort.
But there are times when the only appropriate response is one of righteous anger.
I am angry at those who would commit heinous acts like these. I am angry at the individual (or individuals) responsible for the wanton slaughter of these schoolchildren.
I am angry at those who would rationalize these acts of violence as if the slaughter of schoolchildren was somehow an acceptable price for our national infatuation with guns. I am angry at those who would suggest that the solution to gun violence is more guns, as if we expect kindergarten teachers to defend their students in a pastel-painted version of the OK Corral. I am angry that such pitiable naivete and heartless disregard for others has stood in the way of sensible laws limiting access to and availability of weapons. And I am angry that nothing will be done to prevent the next tragedy- because there will be one.
As a pastor, I am also angry with those who would misplace the blame for such a tragedy. I have prayed for the victims- those who died, those who survived, and those who have been irreparably scarred. I will pray again- in public and on my own. But to suggest that this act of violence is in some way God's punishment for prohibiting prayer in public school is astonishingly cruel, not to mention inaccurate. School prayer did not prevent a similar tragedy in an Amish school several years ago. Imposing prayer upon those who do not believe will not prevent the next one.
I am angry. I know that many of you are angry as well. I can only hope that this righteous anger will be rightly channeled, that our congress will have the courage to act with reason, that our courts will have the common sense to uphold gun restrictions, and that our countrymen will have the compassion to place the love of children over the love of guns.