It’s about guns.
It’s about militant Islam.
It’s about mental health.
I think I find it conveniently comforting to pin violence and tragedy on one issue or another because it means I am not implicated. If it’s about guns, I don’t own one and can blame gun-owners or politicians. If it’s about militant Islam, I’m not a Muslim and can blame someone else’s bad religion. If it’s about mental health, I can blame modern medicine for profiting from pervasive illness instead of teaching preventative care.
But as best I can tell, it’s no one of those things alone. So, if all of those elements play a part to some degree, then more of us are implicated. And if the list of elements contributing to the Pulse shooting is longer (which I believe it is), then even more of us are implicated.
And I don’t want to be implicated.
And maybe that’s why things like this continue to happen.
Because I want to see change in the world but I don’t want that to mean I have to substantially change the way I live or think.
Maybe a more mature, more fully formed response to a mass shooting would assume my implication and sound more like “What part might I have played in it?”
For my part, I know that it’s also about a dominant Christian culture that has been far too slow to recognize the full humanity of my gay and lesbian sisters and brothers. And if that’s the case, maybe it’s also about some of my more progressive sisters and brothers giving in to their impatience with “church people” and leaving the slow moving parts of our family behind rather than choosing the long, hard work of waking and changing apathetic and cold hearts. And if that’s the case, it is also about pastors like me lacking the wisdom and strength necessary to lead a divided congregation through the turbulent waters of disagreement towards love.
I do not own a gun.
I am in good mental health.
I am not a radicalized Muslim. Heck, I’m not much of a radical Christian, either.
I am complicit.
I am implicated.