Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Sermon: Thou Shall Not Kill

Thank you all for coming to the service this Sunday morning.  I know it's been a difficult and trying week.  I'm having a difficult time trying to find my funny bone and to say something witty or clever, so I'm not going to.

This past week saw yet another horrible tragedy.   A madman mass murderer took the lives of 32 people at Virginia Tech.  We are also reminded this week of previous acts of madness.   It is the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School killings.

The first reaction most of us have is to fix it.  Is there an Easy Button we can push to stop this kind of madness?  Lets pass a law.  Lets ban guns.  Lets fortify our schools, shopping malls, and grocery stores.  Lets station National Guard troops at every intersection.  Lets impeach Dick Cheney.

Comedian and radio talk show host Dennis Miller had this to say about this nation's gun control laws (and I paraphrase):  "The Founding Fathers had no idea the technological advances that would come in weaponry where we would see automatic and semi-automatic weapons with horrific killing capacity.  Maybe we should modify the Constitution to only allow the right to bear the kind of arms that were around at the time of the Founding Fathers.  Maybe you should be able to own a flintlock or a musket."  There is a seam of rationality to that, Dennis.

Sadly, I don't believe there is a quick fix and I believe that we should avoid a knee-jerk response to this massacre.  The simple reason and plain truth is that we can't legislate against crazy.  We should take reasonable steps to increase security without infringing on our freedoms and the American way of life.  The unfortunate reality is that there will be a next time.  We will suffer through the pain again.  Creating yet another gun law won't stop a crazy person.  Erecting barriers and increasing security won't stop a crazy person.  Maybe the only impact we can make is to be more involved with those close to us and intercede if we believe there is a reason to do so.  Yet this is a large net and an imperfect one at that.

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Sacramento.  I'm going to end the sermon early today and let everyone go to enjoy the day.  Life is indeed too short and too precious.  Spend time with the ones you love and make sure they know how you feel.

As always, in lieu of passing around a plate for your tithes and offerings, I ask that you simply donate to your local food bank to the extent that you can do so.  Share your good fortune with others.  Peace.

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