Tragedy, politicians and the media

Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.”

GK Chesterton
The New Name, Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays, 1917

The reaction to the yesterday tragic shooting was as perplexing as it was worrisome. The political class couldn’t wait to exploit the tragic events to advance their political agenda about gun control. Reckless speculation based on a preconceived notion dominated most of the commentary from our political leaders. The fact that real people lost their lives and that real people lost a loved one was relegated to a back seat in favor of the ever-important political ideology.

Is time that as a society we re-learn proper civil discourse. One thing is to have a civil and reason debate about gun control another is to exploit a tragic event without allowing the facts to emerge or get in the way of their political narrative. It is disconcerting that the immediate reaction from some on the left as well, some of the right is to view such events with ideological filters instead from the heart. Frustration and anger are honest and human responses to any tragedy, but when we look at our political leaders we don’t expect knee-jerk reactions full of overt political rhetoric instead we look at them for reassurance and leadership that invokes the best qualities in us.

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The media was not far behind from the political left. The Daily News led the way by declaring in its front page:

“God Isn’t Fixing This. Pray They Wake Up: GOP prez hopefuls offer prayers, not solutions on gun control”.

The headline displays contempt for religious faith by ridiculing the offering of prayers for the victims. It’s as if the headline was saying: go pray to your imaginary man in the sky while we adults look for real solutions for gun control. The problem with this headline is that it not only misdiagnosed the problem, but also that it betrays an utter misunderstanding of Christian faith.

The problem was not lack of gun control, California already has so-called tough gun control laws the problem was Islamic terrorism. Gun control laws will not solve the problem with Islamic terrorism, it will enable it. It didn’t matter that Islamists caused the shooting. What mattered was that it was a “mass shooting” and therefore gun control laws must be enforced.

The selective ridicule of GOP candidates’ faith is astonishing and a condescending shot at people of faith. It ignores that for Christian God is the source of strength, courage and wisdom that is required to deal with such tragedy. That Christianity does not look at prayer as a magic dispensing machine of goods, but rather as an instrument for grace. Christians recognize that out of evil good always emerges. Christ on the Cross exemplifies this belief… to use political candidate’s faith as a slight against religious people is a sign of the sad state of our political discourse.


My prayers and thoughts are for those who lost their lives and their families and friends who they left behind.

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