This must stop

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, yet we had another event which we cannot let define us. The tragedy in Sri Lanka sheds a spotlight on what must stop. The three recent Black church bombings in Louisiana do the same; this must stop. The many shootings at churches, synagogues, and mosques must stop.

The victims do not deserve this, no matter where they worship. The perpetrators have some warped view of extremism. They are terrorists irrespective of what religious master they serve. They are hate mongers and murderers. They will not build a stairway to some perverted view of righteousness. Their names should not be mentioned, as they do not deserve recognition.

These actions of hate must stop. The underlying hate must stop. If someone’s view of religion inspires them to hate or kill others, that is not God or Allah talking. That is a narrow-minded form of extremism. These folks are murderers,

We need these actions strongly condemned by all leaders. We need religious leaders to promote a message of inclusion. A ministry of exclusion is religion at its worst. One person’s exclusion becomes another person’s hate. And, to a small subset, the words inspire violence. This also holds true with political leaders,

What can we do? If your spiritual or political leader speaks of exclusion, ask them to stop. If they don’t stop, vote with your feet and leave. Our leaders need to be our better angels – if they are not, find another leader and call them on the carpet.

If you see some followers who are echoing or speaking of violent acts, tell the authorities or more even-tempered religious leaders. Zealotry can lead to violence. If you hear unproductive words, push back or tell someone. This is even more true if they come from leaders.

But, most importantly, we must be civil to one another. We must demand civility from our leaders. Fear sells, but is an unsustainable governing approach. We deserve better from our leaders. We must also demand peace. We need more diplomats, not fewer. We need to value the mavens and dot connectors. Relationships are to be courted and nurtured.

This has to stop. Stop the words of exclusion. Stop the words of hate. And, let’s do what we can to stop the violence.

Let me close with one of the greatest examples of faith I have witnessed. After the Charleston AME Zion church shooting, the surviving family members forgave the shooter. That is powerful. Let’s be like them. But, let’s stop it from happening the next time.


15 thoughts on “This must stop

    • Thanks Jill. I noticed the Sri Lankan government blocked Social media afterwards to screen out American groups taking advantage of the crisis. That statement bothers me, as I am not sure if it is faux financial help to steal money or if it is groups that sow seeds of hate.

      • Yes, it is both confusing and troubling, and also disturbing is the news that the Sri Lankan government was warned about the attacks 10 days earlier.

      • From what I am reading, it could have been stopped, but was a pissing match between the president and prime minister, and although the security services were aware of the people involved, had their addresses, phone numbers, even tracked their movements, no arrests were made until AFTER 290 people were killed. Within hours, they had arrested 24 people, giving cause to believe that they knew exactly who the guilty parties were.

      • Jill, that is awful and sounds like a dereliction of duties. Often, when a failure to act ahead, it is due to lack of communication. This sounds much worse. Keith

  1. Note to Readers: I must confess my comments are altruistic. Sadly, with the populist and national religious movements underway around the globe, minority groups are ostacized. As groups are ostracized, the hate is leveraged by extremists. It is occurring in democracies as well as more authoritarian regimes. So, we will likely see more of these events, not fewer.

  2. A very apt and resonant post for a Easter Monday Keith.
    Thank you for remidning us which is the only way out.

    • Lisa, it is like “back to the future.” We watched “Black Klansman” again the other night. It is about a black undercover officer (and a white officer) infiltrating the KKK in the esrly 1970s (based on a true story). The scariest part of the movie is fast-forwarding to the white mationalists marching in Charlottesville, including David Duke singing praises to a man named Trump. Keith

  3. Lisa, it was quite interesting and entertaining. His comments about Mississippi trying to ban PBS was stunning. As he said ‘Trump has nothing on the Mississippi legislature.” Keith

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