Three Taverns Church

Duplicity In Our Grieving


In the nights since the shootings in Connecticut last week I’ve been losing a lot of sleep. I lie awake in bed, but I don’t worry about gun control, school safety or even the safety of my own children. No, I’ve been losing sleep over us, the American public, who seem duplicitous in our grief over the tragic deaths in Sandy Hook.

Children are killed in our country every day through neglect and violence. In the state of Connecticut alone over 13,000 abortions were performed in 2010; that works out to about 35 children killed every day. Thousands of children around the world die on a weekly basis for reasons ranging from malnutrition to open war. Thousands of children around the world are sexually abused on a daily basis.

What is it about the Sandy Hook violence that is different?

Do we feel a poignant sense of loss because these are the children the world wanted? What does that say about us?

Is it because they were white kids from an affluent neighborhood? What if they had been Hispanic kids from El Paso?

Do we see them as our own children and fear for the safety of our own families? Are we THAT selfish?

How can we, on one hand, hear about ten year-old girls working as prostitutes in Thailand and only shed a tear or two (and maybe write a check), then turn around and act outraged at the shooting of ten-year-olds in our own country?

How can we keep ourselves comfortably ignorant of the fact that for every three live births in Connecticut one child is aborted, then turn around and decry gun violence when 20 school-aged children are murdered?

I am in no way trying to detract from the loss and tragic waste this shooting entailed.

I am trying to understand why people think the murder of these children is ‘worse’ than the thousands of acts of violence that affect children around the world every day, as evidenced by the highly emotional reactions involved.

I don’t want our vision to be limited by our press and politicians to a single issue; I want us to think bigger. I want us to embrace the primacy of all human life and consider what we can do today to protect and defend that most valuable commodity.

3 thoughts on “Duplicity In Our Grieving

  1. Makes you think…I like that. I don’t think that people are saying this is worse than the other things; this is just happening now, and it’s in everybody newsreel. You almost have to turn every media source off to get away from it; just like people did to get away from the political stuff. It’s close to home and it shakes everybody up.

  2. Are we so desensitized that we don’t grieve in our hearts in the same way about others because we see these children as our own? You touched on something that has bothered me for so long–bothered may not be the right word. All lives are equally as precious. I think it is more than in the news and the news is using this tragedy for their gain just as groups for one side or the other. This has pained me to see this happen but I know we are complacent in the way we act toward all–we seem to pick and choose. It makes my heart hurt to know that we treat others with NON-equality. We should pay more attention and act accordingly–sorry 🙂 . You hit a nerve with me and I wish this was being discussed more. Thank you for this post.

  3. Brandon Heath’s song comes to mind: “Give me Your eyes for just one second, give me Your eyes so I can see…”

    We ARE de-sensitized to suffering and avoidable loss of life in this day and age. And no, gun control is not the answer (regardless of what side of the issue you are on). Otherwise, we’ll soon be dealing with “knife control” and then “baseball bat” control. The real issue is the state of our hearts as a people and where our priorities truly lie. The fact that we glorify violence in almost every facet of our lives, the fact the people are more likely to gain recognition for being grossly immoral or outrageous than for any decent, uplifting value or accomplishment. Also, in an age where wars are fought with a laser-like precision, where instant gratification is the norm, where life is so much more “safe”, relatively, than it has ever been, we have chosen to ignore the reality that bad things happen. Of course, don’t forget personal accountability and responsibility. Wait, what are those? Foreign concepts in today’s society. Everyone is a victim.Finally, I think the greatest reason why this tragedy and other mass killings have occurred, is that we have chosen to ignore the very real truth that there is EVIL in this world, and in many cases we’ve not only dismissed evil or turned a blind eye to it, but we’ve opened our homes to it, we’ve opened our minds to it, and we’ve opened our hearts to it.

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