It’s May 2019. Another school shooting in the USA. The 15th this year. One dead child, eight injured. Oh, by the way, the dead child was shot five times because he rushed the shooter in order to protect his classmates.
It wasn’t even mentioned in my social media circle. Why not?
I can’t say for sure. Maybe everyone was busy thinking about and praying for the terrorized children. For the injured. For the parents of the dead and hurting. For our country.
Maybe they are no longer shocked, horrified, or heartbroken because this is our normal. This is an acceptable level of collateral damage in the (imaginary) war to keep the government from taking our guns. Maybe one dead kid no longer gets our attention. Maybe it takes ten or twenty. What is the exact number it takes these days to send shivers through our hearts and tears down our cheeks? To comment, at a minimum, on social media at least as often as we did over the burning Notre Dame Cathedral? Or a horse being disqualified from the fancy-hat-and-mint-julep Kentucky Derby?
Maybe your circle expressed sadness on social media. Mine did not react at all. Unless you count the one friend who shared this meme the following day:
That pisses me off.
For now, let’s not address the secondary problem with this meme, the unsupported implication that teenagers are the only ones texting while driving. (FYI: A Pew Research study concluded that 59 percent of adults 18-33 are the largest group texting while driving compared with 50 percent of those between the ages of 34-45, and 29 percent of those 46-64.) Oops. I guess we did end up addressing it.
But back to the Christian social media silence on our children being hunted.
We just don’t care anymore. Some never have but apparently most of us have just given up. Every poll and survey indicates that as many as two-thirds of Americans want some form of stricter gun laws, from universal background checks to an assault weapons ban and the sticky parts in-between.
Now math has never been my favorite subject and I successfully avoided statistics class in college, but even I get it that those of us wanting better gun laws are the majority. We outnumber those who do not want stricter gun laws. That makes them the minority.
So who is leading the majority in this fight? The Christians? Surely the Church! Surely those who believe in Jesus and The Way that he taught, right? After all, Jesus people were always meant to challenge the status quo and build a Christ-emulating Church. We are supposed to be the ones swimming upstream, standing on the fringes of society, railing against injustice, looking out for the least of us, talking people out of death-by-stoning. We are supposed to be the ones showing others how to live in God’s kingdom, the one right now, right here on earth, not in the Great Hereafter.
But no, no, no! We Christians don’t want to challenge the status quo. It’s uncomfortable.
Our little social media circle might not like it. Someone might yell at us IN ALL CAPS or “unfriend” or “unfollow” us. Maybe our favorite cousin will see it. Or an old friend from high school. Or someone <gasp> from church!
It’s the modern day cockcrow denial.
“I saw you with Jesus.” (You’re one of those Jesus freaks, eh?)
“Nope. Don’t know him.” (Haha no, no, no lol)
“You’re one of them!” (Libtards / commies / socialists / snowflakes)
“Not me, you’re wrong.” (Nope, I’m cool. Just like you.)
“Yes, it was you! I recognize your voice!” (Yeah, you are. I’ve seen your leftist posts!)
When did we become such cowards that we cannot even publicly mourn children, let alone speak up for the Jesus Way? When we do not even have the courage to admit that an 18 year-old student, who died protecting his classmates, is a thousand times braver than we chicken-shit Christians on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter?
Our absence on social media when there is yet another gunning down of precious young lives who were where we told them to be, in school, is a vulgar abdication of our responsibility to each other, to love and cherish each other enough to shout “Enough!” We silent social media Christians are no braver than Peter who denied knowing or walking with his great spiritual master. But we need to remember this: Jesus never rebuked Peter for his denials. He simply asked him, three times, if he loved him. All three times Peter said, “yes, you know I do!” Jesus responded, three times, “then feed my sheep.” Take care of my people. Follow me.
Jesus apparently didn’t even mention Peter’s denial days earlier. I don’t think it mattered to him. I think Jesus was saying he doesn’t care about our words to him (“I love you, Jesus!”). He cares about our actions in the world.
Unlike Peter and the rest of the apostles, today’s American Christians don’t have to worry about being beaten, exiled, arrested, imprisoned, or executed for talking about Jesus and the arrival of God’s kingdom right here, right now, if only we choose to manifest it by living it. Unlike those brave men and women, whom we have to thank for even knowing that Jesus was here, we have a safe platform to speak from. Our keyboards. All we are risking is someone might respond IN ALL CAPS, or unfollow us, or call us a libtard-commie-socialist blah blah blah. But we won’t even do that little. It’s more comfortable to do the modern day cockcrow denial: unfollow Jesus on social media.
Meanwhile, the minority share the NRA’s memes and the silence from the majority empowers them. They even start to believe that they must be right.
What do you think? Are you pissed?