Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One of Their Very Own

I hadn't followed too closely the shootings in Colorado that apparently are megachurch-related. Yesterday, my daughter and I were semi-watching CNN, while my 2 year-old granddaughter chased the cats into their secret hiding places. When CNN gave the ages of the two young sisters murdered, I saw my daughter wince because we know that 16 and 18 are pretty damned young. I cannot imagine the grief of those parents nor could my daughter as she watched her own little daughter race down the hall after the cats.

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However, when this first broke yesterday some member of the New Life Church described the shooter as your 'typical, dressed in black, societal reject' - leading to one perhaps surmising, it was most likely some pimply-faced Satan-worshiping shit-hole. How I wish I had the link to that interview now. Because NOW, it appears this is just NOT the case.

I did catch this on Yahoo News. The young shooter was a home-schooled, deeply religious 24 year-old who had been enrolled at the Youth With a Mission, a training center in Arvada, Colorado some five years previous. The shooter's younger brother attends Oral Roberts University.

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What I also find interesting in the crediting of G*d - or at least their God - with miracles.

Jessie Gingrich, who had left New Life and was in the parking lot getting into her car, saw the gunman get a rifle from his trunk and open fire on a van with people inside. Gingrich said she cowered in her vehicle, fumbling with the key.

"I was just expecting for the next gunshot to be coming through my car. Miraculously — by the grace of God — it did not," she told ABC's "Good Morning America."

But this, THIS, had to be strangest, most fucked up thing I saw today.

Assam said, "I give the credit to God. And I say that very humbly. God was with me and the whole time I was behind cover -- this has got to be God, because of the firepower that [the gunman] had vs. what I had -- was God. I did not run away and I didn't think for a minute to run away, I just knew that I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse. I just prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me."

"I just prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me."

So 'the Lord' and/or the Holy Spirit assisted her in killing this shooter. A shooter who came from their midst. Now, perhaps the shooter felt God was guiding HIM to kill as well. After all, he was reportedly hearing, listening to, and responding to - voices.

Well, I guess as long as they're killing each other .....

Now my friend, Quaker Dave, brought this up on Sunday, and the ensuing discussion of my unruly mates is worth reading.

I don't know.

It just seems crazy to me, and most assuredly to assign credit to the Holy Spirit of all entities for such a destructive act. Because I don't think that's about G*d in any way or semblance. I think it's about our choices and subsequent actions.

It does fit, however, with the new-found and exploited militarism within Christianity (evangelicalism and fundamentalism specifically); the characterization of Christ, God, and now the Holy Spirit as warriors; the separation from others within our broader society, and the affluence to accommodate that with the establishment of their own 'community' to broaden their influence. Who can forget the preening of children for God in 'Jesus Camp'? What about the 'Left Behind' series?

It is all about the lie of needing to living separate, except when proselytizing and bringing in others 'less fortunate'; it's all about that separation from those who are "unworthy" and "unacceptable in the eyes of God", and that someone is better than another; it's about deforming and prostituting the message of the gospel, using it and exploiting until it becomes the very evil they rail against. It is not the message of G*d, Jesus Christ, and certainly not the message of the Holy Spirit.


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