Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Violence Lies

"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
- James 2:14-17

faith without works is dead. peoples children are dead. childrens mothers and fathers are dead. brothers, sisters, grandparents, nieces, nephews, students are dead. teachers are dead. husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends and friends are dead. and your prayers aren't doing anything to help them. your prayers make you feel good, they make you feel like you've done something when you pray or you share an image on facebook or you discuss your outrage on your lunch break and sadly shake your head saying, "what a tragedy."

it is a tragedy. children are dead. every single person laying in the morgue or a cemetery today was someone's child--including the people who killed the rest of them. we talk about gun control and freedom and fear and terrorism, and we debate and take sides and politicize all of it, and somehow in all the conversation that takes place nothing ever happens. the hate continues, the violence continues, the tragedy continues, and whether its the queer community or an elementary school or a movie theater, the motive is the same. it's hate. someone has to hate to do something so awful. and we can't wrap our heads around it, and so the people who commit these awful crimes are demonized. "they're not even human." but you know what? they ARE human. they're someone's child, too. and if i can steal a few words from jed bartlet, who has something to say for all of these unimaginable horrors, they weren't born wanting to do this.

these shooters, these murderers, these rapists and gangbangers and terrorists were not born wanting to do these things. they were born innocent and pure, just like all of us were, and then things went to hell and the world failed them. WE failed them. we fail each other every single day. all of us.
these tragedies that plague us *are* preventable. they are a failure on ALL of our parts, every single one of us. whether we're talking a mass shooting or a guy who stabs his girlfriend to death and mutilates her body or a parent beating a child or someone torturing animals in a fighting ring. every act of violence is an act of failure. it's an act of education and religion and cruelty and abuse and hate hate hate. children are not born into this world hating. we teach them to.

we create monsters and then rid ourselves of responsibility and make them "other" so we don't have to acknowledge our failures.

i understand that many people out there can't do more than offer thoughts and prayers. that you may not be able to donate blood or money or volunteer. you probably feel helpless, just like i do. you don't know what else to say or do. so im here to help you. what can you do? you can teach people around you not to hate. you can speak up when someone you know is being abused or committing abuse. you can be there for someone with mental illness no matter how exhausting they are. you can think twice before making disparaging remarks in front of your children and you can correct other people who make disparaging remarks in front of theirs.

will they appreciate it? probably not. but when they tell you, "this is my child, and i will raise them how i see fit." you can tell them, "your child didn't know how to hate until you taught them to." maybe it will make them think, maybe it won't. but you can try. because THOSE are the thoughts and prayers we need. we need action, we need change, we need people to be aware that they are teaching their children to hate, that they are creating a monster where there wasn't one. that we are failing our children and WE have to change.

every single act of violence is a reflection on ALL of us. every single one. they weren't born wanting to do this.

"Apathy kills anger - and this is what ya choose.
There's always gonna be somebody who will lose.
Did ya ever stop and think about the world as is.
Life's about living, can't believe it's come to this.
It's not about me. it's not about you.
It's not about them or what they do.
It's not about pride, it's about
We must all understand:
Violence lies."
 - Bif Naked, Violence