After Boston: an invitation to silence

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April 16, 2013 by jmar198013

In the wake of the Aurora theatre shootings last year, the media was quick to point fingers at all sorts of scapegoats, from the Tea Party to gun-control advocates. It wasn’t long before the conspiracy vultures swooped down to pronounce another nefarious “false flag” machination aimed to strip us of our freedoms. It was, and is, a travesty. At the time, I wrote that the “wounds of Aurora are already infested with partisan parasites.

And wouldn’t you just know, in the wake of the tragic bombings at the Boston marathon yesterday, it’s happening again?

For instance, Fox News/World Net Daily contributor Erik Rush wasted little time in deciding the culprits were Muslims and playing identity politics, because hey, that’s what we do now after national tragedies. Rush polluted the Twitterverse thusly:

Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let’s bring more Saudis in without screening them! C’mon!

And then:

Yes, they’re [Muslims] evil. Let’s kill them all.

And again:

Hypothesis proven: Libs responding to “kill them all” sarcasm neglect fact that their precious Islamists say the same about us EVERY DAY.

Yes, Erik Rush. This is the most responsible, adult response I can imagine. Say something so extraordinarily dumb that you are bound to get called out on it, then play the victim when you do. Real classy. Erik Rush, you are a terrible person. I invite you to be silent.

Meanwhile, in a display I can only dub extremely poor taste, Hannity opened with a montage set to music from Dr. Who. If I had been in the room with whoever edited this gem, I would have smacked their hands and said, “No, no,” much like you would a toddler making a move to place their hand in a moving blender.

New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof decided he had the perfect opening to chide Senate Republicans for bickering with the POTUS over an ATF appointment. Kristof tweeted:

He later recanted his tweet. He can delete the tweet, but the screen shots are with us still. Kristof, you just shouldn’t talk for a while. Unplug your tweeter. Sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

And then you had WSJ‘s James Taranto tweeting from the other side:

Obama is going to make a statement. Boehner is going to have a moment of silence. Advantage GOP.

Oh yes, because that’s really what this is all about. Political theatre. That’s the most important observation to be made just now. Oh, you’re a smart one, Taranto. You make me want to retch. Now silence, and wear this dunce cap like a man, you scoundrel.

And I won’t even go into the ambulance chasing conspiracy theorists who magically showed up about five minutes after the smoke cleared. You can read about them here, I won’t even dignify them by mentioning who they are or what they said. But here’s one of their Facebook pages in case you want to call them on their filth. If Martin Luther were here, he would have said this to them: “you are a treacherous, secret devil who sneaks around in corners until you have done your damage and spread your poison.” The conspiracy brigade would do well to learn silence.

Seriously, it’s time to shut up. It’s time for them to shut up. It’s time for me to shut up. It’s time for us all to shut up and listen for God, who always calls to us in the midst of evil times to grieve with him and labor with him to mend what has been torn. My childhood friend David Henson eloquently invites us to such holy silence as follows:

Our tendency when tragedy strikes is to hover over it, to watch and re-watch it, to relive it as if we could undo it or begin to understand it. It is almost as if we believe that if we know the details of what happened, and we know it first, as soon as we can possibly know it, the tragedy will somehow be blunted. That the meaninglessness of the cycle of violence will somehow be broken, will be understood …

I really wonder how healthy this is, to burn the violence into our souls on repeat in such a way. Rather than plug into the violence as spectators and let it course through us with all its potency to warp and corrupt, perhaps we would be better served by simply taking a walk, cleaning the kitchen, chopping vegetables, holding children, shopping for groceries, living life.

It is not disrespectful to the dead and wounded to continue living in the wake of tragedy. It honors them …

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we were to take a moment to be silent, as God is, before the disturbing capacity of humans to mutilate and to torture and to bomb and to explode that which God has called good, that which God has given God’s image — the imago dei ..

I was reminded today in the midst of the coverage of the prophet Habakkuk.

The Lord is in his holy temple. Let all mortal flesh keep silence.

We are the temple in which the Lord dwells. Let us keep the silence the Lord is trying to create in us.

The Lord is in his temple, and he is weeping. Let all mortal flesh keep silence, so that we may hear the broken sobs of God.

Amen, Brother David. Amen and amen.


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