Christ Heart: Discovery of Holy Mystery

Column by Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D. on 23 June 2022 0 Comments

What is a heart alive with compassion and joy and spontaneity?  A heart not continually weighed down by drivenness, anger, and fear? A heart at rest?

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Question

What are some essential steps that can be taken to improve America's gun problem?

Answer

Dear Frank,

If we take seriously our call to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, it is far past time to act.
 
We must protest in the streets. Over and over again we must demand our elected officials do the things we already know will make a difference. Things like banning assault rifles; requiring background checks, training and licensing, and gun insurance; reducing easy access to dangerous weapons; requiring waiting periods; campaign finance reform; and holding manufactures responsible for irresponsible marketing and sales.
 
We also need to do more to reduce situations that can end up with folks deciding that a gun is their best option. That includes a reduction of poverty and food insecurity, politicians that work to unite us rather than work to divide us, access to affordable or free healthcare for all people; police who have received deescalation and anti-racism training; supporting healthier ideas of masculinity; and a stronger emphasis on trauma care in our health systems.
 
For Christians a lot of the things we need to do are things we should already be doing. We must work more actively and lovingly for our neighbors. There are far too many of them dying unnecessarily because of guns and because of our nation's lack of will to do something about it. We must live more honestly into the humanistic and spiritual call to make care of our neighbors a primary mandate in our lives, because far too many hearts have been shattered as a loved one's life is ended with a bullet.
 
There are certainly many other things that can be done, but this is a pretty good starting point. As you probably picked up on, I believe we all need to take seriously our call to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and to act on it, demand change, and to never let up until our neighbors are safe.

~ Rev. Mark Sandlin

 

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