In Remembrance of Killers
Setting in a terminal at LA International Airport on Thursday 10/01, I was watching the developing news out of Oregon where another thug cut down innocent people in cold blood.
I found the dispatch tapes and listened to 20 minutes of law-enforcement radio transmissions as they responded, then engaged and then tried to get help for the wounded and dying. As I listened, I realized my chest was heaving short rapid breaths and my fists were clenched.
As various news articles came out over the next few days, one struck me. Aljazeera News came out with an article highlighting 10 recent deadly shootings in the US. [i]
The article was really just 10 pictures of grief stricken people and emotional scenes – each picture from one of the following incidents;
1. 10/01/2015. Roseburg, OR. 9 killed
2. 6/17/2015. Charleston, SC. 9 killed
3. 9/16/2013. Washington DC. 12 killed
4. 7/26/2013. Miami, FL. 6 killed
5. 12/14/2012. Newtown, CN. 26 killed
6. 8/5/2012. Oak Creek, WI. 7 killed
7. 7/20/2012. Aurora, CO. 12 killed
8. 4/2/2012. Oakland, CA (the caption incorrectly said “Oikos, CA”). 7 killed
9. 11/5/2009. Ft. Hood, TX. 13 killed
10. 4/3/2009. Binghamton, NY. 13 killed
Knowing the primary audience of Aljazeera prompts concern on the impact of such an article. Knowing these poltroon killers are motivated by the recent works of other poltroons, think about the demographic of people reading (inspired by?) such an article.
What are they reading?
4 of the sites had a school component (1, 5, 8 and 10).
3 of the sites were faith-based properties (2, 6 and 8).
The images of grief in the picture timeline speak to every radical out there (Islamic and other) that they too can set off this kind of public impact.
Think About it…
Ø I have been accused as being one who “plants the thought” with these terrorists. Trust me – they are already thinking it. It is the churches that need to have the reality of the thought planted.
Ø So whether foreign or domestic terrorists are incited by this act in Oregon (or the Aljazeera article) understand one clear message; you will not be remembered for anything but the spineless coward you are.
Ø I am glad the Sheriff of Douglas County Oregon (John Hanlin) is not saying this puke’s name. Hats off to you Sheriff.
Ø A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor explores the theory (at least with school killers) that all these miscreants have a warped view of masculinity[ii].
Now that’s something to think about. While I agree that any such act is a toxic cocktail of factors, it is plausible to consider that anyone who commits such a dastardly act is incapable of reaching manhood on their own. So they pull a trigger on defenseless victims as a final effort. They should be remembered only as emasculated sniveling little wimps. That is an appropriate remembrance for any mass killer.
… and last week’s TAI;
A Baby by a Dumpster
In my research of violence related to churches, I often see where school children evacuated due to some threat or danger, are bused to an area church. I also know of many churches who are a designated Red Cross Shelter. I encourage this – knowing full well that they must obligate to not sharing their theology with displaced recipients of their community outreach effort. Just because you cannot express your theology to neighbors in need does not mean they should refrain from being a resource in the time of need. Thursday evening 9/24/15, in Mount Vernon Indiana, we saw displayed one of the many things a church should be prepared for.
The Christ’s Way Christian Church (CWCC) had someone drop off a baby boy wrapped in a couple of coats. Angeline Denney (the pastor’s wife) discovered the baby, which medical professionals estimated to be about 12-hours-old (with his umbilical cord still attached), behind a dumpster by a side door to the church. She was cleaning up after a youth event and happened to hear a noise, which led to the discovery.
Indiana law states that a baby can be left at a hospital emergency room, police or fire station. Many states have such a law (aka safe harbor law) which is intended to allow unprepared mothers to leave an infant where the child is certain to be found and cared for.
The law typically stipulates that the child can be left at a hospital, Fire Station or Police Station. A good law, but due to reputation and street talk, frequently misread by socially (and often mentally) disadvantaged people who believe churches must surely be among those places offering safe harbor. I read many such stories every year.
Churches are not included, nor should they be. Many churches are not occupied except for once a week, and nobody is looking the rest of the week. This doesn’t stop the common misconception among the underprivileged that churches are among those safe harbors.
Think About it…
Ø Any time any of your team drives by your church, they should make a round and be alert. It isn’t only criminal activity you are looking for. This baby boy is alive only because he was discovered on a Thursday night.
Ø It is a very fine line between safety and security. Find opportunities to keep your community safe.