A resounding gong, a clanging cymbal, bullshit: that is what this all-too-familiar national liturgy of grief is when it’s acted out once again without having taken the available steps to avoid repeating this horror.
That meaningless gong and fleeting cymbal are the apostle Paul’s characterization of religious and charitable acts that don’t have love. They are nothing.
Surely the same applies to grieving. And so if as a society we aren’t doing all we can to protect our children, our teenagers, our people, from murderous gun sprees, then we lack love. And then we lack the ability–or the right–to grieve.
If I don’t grab the hand of a sinking man whom I could have reached, then I can’t grieve his drowning. If you don’t feed the hungry woman from your stocked pantry, then you can’t grieve her starvation. If we don’t take tools away from the demented that enable them to multiply their evil, we don’t get to express shock, horror, and sadness when that multiplying evil is unleashed.”