When I read my e-mail early Sunday morning and read about the Orlando Massacre, I was of course very shocked, but what strikes me is how much more I would have been shocked if we hadn’t become used to so many atrocities being perpetuated against persons of any stripe, from any country around the world today. I am becoming somewhat desensitized, as I presume many others are. This I take to be a human defeat.
What our Presidential candidates from the two major and malodorous political parties have said about this massacre is disturbing. I will omit to say what I think about Donald Trump’s response. When Hillary Clinton says in response to the massacre that “This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets”, one is inclined to ask Hillary if USA weapons of war have any place in foreign countries, either as targets (Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc.) or as countries to whom weapons are supplied (Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.). One would also be inclined to ask Hillary whether the military grade weapons that have found their way in recent years to police departments in the USA are included in what appears to be her blanket censure of weapons of war on our streets.
Building a better world today can only be a radical enterprise. How else could we feed the poor? Protect our home, the Earth? Love and respect each individual (but not, I hasten to add, an individual’s prerogative to trample on the rights of others)? Jesus said that he brought a sword. He didn’t mean it violently. But he meant it as a radical challenge to the egos of the rulers, religious and political, who have no loyalty to God and humankind (or if one is an atheist, no loyalty to the values that God represents).
A radical, non-violent revolution is perhaps our only hope, especially since the rulers have all the tanks.