In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
In the United States of America, every day is a Mass Shooting Day. It is no longer news. It is the new normal. (The “new normal”?! What is this — a fashion statement?) It should never be normal. We need to reject it.
Just as the daily news reports counted the days of the Iran Hostage Crisis, so should we count the days of mass shootings — until we put an end to it. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
- Years ago, I read (in the National Geographic or the Smithsonian magazine, I think) about an American woman who traveled in Tibet for six months. She spent that entire time with the women and children. She reported that not once did she hear a baby cry.
- Here in our society, we are constantly hearing babies cry. We just assume that crying is what babies do. It’s like the weather, right? It rains sometimes.
- The babies are telling us something. Are we listening? Babies do not cry for no reason.
- What is repentance? The ancient prophets — from Noah (as reported in the Qur’an) to Jonah to John the Baptist — called on the people to repent. What does that mean? It means changing your way of life.
- In our society, we do not treat pregnant women as precious. Trauma, or the mere lack of love, affects the physical and psychological condition of the child — starting in the womb.
- In our society, we take babies away from their mothers almost as soon as they are born, and place them in “nurseries”. The loving bonding experience ESSENTIAL to human development and human society is ABORTED.
- In our society, we treat breastfeeding as optional. It is not. (So much needs to be said about breastfeeding that I won’t even start here. What shouldn’t be necessary to say is that breastfeeding is not just a form of physical nourishment.)
- In our society, we give newborn infants a room of their own.
What the f*&!#k does an infant need with a room?
All alone in a room, the baby is dying. Oh! That’s right! They die of being alone. It’s called SIDS — Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I’ve never read of an infant suddenly dying when not alone. Even young children who can walk and talk should never, ever be left alone.
- In our society, the sexual intimacy that we adults enjoy so much is regarded as a form of fun-and-play — and pregnancy and childbirth is half the time regarded as an unfortunate circumstance. This behavior and this attitude is sending a subliminal message to all of us about our worth as human beings. Babies are getting this message also, in so many ways. (I am still tormented by the memory of seeing a young, presumably married, couple sweethearting at a restaurant table, while their infant child crawls unattended at their feet on the sawdust-strewn floor. His place in life. Later, he will be crying for no apparent reason.)
- Among many other things, repentance means that we change our society — re-order the way we do things, change what we do — so that our babies are properly cared for. Creatures — from ants to bears — that have survived and thrived for millions of years do a vastly better job of caring for their offspring than we Americans. We. Must. Change.
- Is it at all surprising that we are shooting and killing each other?
- Unless we change, it is going to get worse.
- Is your church, mosque, temple, tabernacle, or synagogue addressing issues of importance in the life of the society? Is it an uplifting house of enlightenment and compassion and intelligent commitment to reform and healing and helpfulness? If not, get the hell out.
Unless I hear otherwise, I assume that this day and every day is a Mass Shooting Day.
I started the count Saturday, June 17, 2017. Today is day 0048. Hopefully, we will put an end to this scourge before I run out of numbers.