I've been struggling with words. Yet, in response to the heinous Orlando shooting, we must not be silent.
I echo the call to lament and the call for pride by Cameron Trimble of the Center for Progressive Renewal:
Today we pause to lament.
We lament that our nation has experienced another mass shooting without a single piece of legislation passed since the last mass shooting to even attempt to prevent this one.
We lament the tragic loss of 49 lives that dared to display joy in what they deemed as safe space.
We lament that LGBTQ pride month has been interrupted by heinous homophobic mass murder.
We lament that islamophobic slurs from a presidential candidate have interrupted the blessed season of Ramadan.
Today we pause to lament. More than just a cathartic display of grief or sorrow, lamentation, according to Catholic nun an noted author Elizabeth A. Johnson, is "dangerously remembering the dead in solidarity with their suffering and hope of future blessing...[which] has the capacity to nurture ongoing resistance to the victimization of others." Pride may very well be the most powerful act of resistance that exists of those whose lives are constantly assaulted by bigotry and hatred. If pride as resistance can diminish future victimization of anyone, then by all means let us soon stand and march with pride again.
I echo her sentiment: We believe we are stronger together than alone. We believe a collective effort to heal the world is more likely to produce solutions to the world's most complex and troubling problems. We believe the human spirit can be healed, the capacity for abundant life does exist, the common good is attainable and that we all have inherent worth and dignity. Today we grieve the loss of 49 innocent lives who lived that reality by their own acts of joyous resistance to homophobia.
If we are ever going to change the world, we are going to have to do it together -- every single unique, beautiful one of us. And it starts by embracing our whole selves for everything God created us to be and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Yes indeed: We are in this together.