A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Don't Throw A Meme At It

Some say the time following tragedies, like what happened in Orlando, is not the time to talk about political issues like gun control.  There is some truth here.  Tragedies should not be considered mere fodder to support one's own political opinion.  However, following such a tragedy seems like an excellent time to thoughtfully consider and even debate various methods for preventing such a tragedy from happening again.  Instead of such debates we launch simple minded memes and pictures and phrases at each other designed to provoke emotion or reinforce preconceived notions rather than producing thought.  

I implore you when tragedy strikes please do not throw a meme at it.  In addition, I personally repent from liking memes and humorous quotations when they align with my political views or I think they are funny.  

Such simplistic slogans disrespect the victims of tragedy through over simplifying situations and acting as a barrier to real dialogue, real progress, real preventative actions.  For example, pretending a shooter would have been just as lethal had he been armed with a rock is insulting to the victims and insulting to everyone’s intelligence.  Simplifying past horrific events such as Wounded Knee to support your political agenda disrespects current and past victims.  Rather we should be  honoring current victims with in-depth consideration without minimizing the horrors of the deliberate, government instituted acts of genocide perpetrated against Native American people.  
I am sure there are equally offensive and simplistic liberal postings but I don't recall seeing any, probably due to the area of the country in which I reside.  Whatever your political leanings such posts are not helpful.  

I have been lucky thus far to be affected by gun violence only at a bit of a distance.  The closest I have come was a friend of years gone by, Margaret Anderson, who put her life between others and a gunman and was tragically killed.  But even from my view point, if mindless memes were being cast about in regards to her death I would be sickened and angered and can only imagine the pain such would inflict upon her husband, her children, her parents.  

There is plenty of pain.  We need not add to it.  What is needed is thoughtful discussions honoring the depth of loss and seriously considering various actions to reduce the chances of such tragedy happening again.  

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