Sunday, in the early morning hours, Omar Saddiqui Mateen killed at least 49 innocent victims in Orlando, making this the greatest mass shooting in modern American history. Though the story is still unfolding, it is not too early for a response. A more thorough response will be found in this week’s Rushmore Report, to be published early Thursday morning. But what can we say today?
First, we must choose faith over fear. There is an old Scottish proverb that says, “Fear knocked on the door, faith answered, and there was no one there.” Faith is the answer to fear. Faith doesn’t eliminate the things that brought the fear – faith empowers the believer when those things happen. Without faith we cannot please God, according to Scripture. We must choose faith.
Second, we must pray for our leaders. Predictably, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have already begun posturing for political purposes. And I don’t really blame them for that, for they both believe their election would be better for America. But the fact is the shooter was interviewed by the FBI twice, he has not broken any laws, and sometimes evil people do evil things. Blame-casting won’t solve the problem. Pray can. So pray for our leaders.
Third, we must come together as a society. Ethicist Russell Moore tweeted, “Christian, your gay or lesbian neighbor is probably really scared right now. Whatever our genuine disagreements, let’s love and pray.” Ted Cruz noted, “Nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation.” Jesus said the world will know we are his followers by our love for others. Rather than focus on what separates us, today is the day to celebrate what we share in common as Americans.
More soon . . .