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Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Religion, Society | 10 comments

Where Was God Last Friday?

One pastor’s perspective here.

Also: What people need from Christians most in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. (By the way, it’s authenticity.)

Warning: If you don’t want a Christian’s faith perspective on the tragedy in Newtown, please don’t read either of the linked posts. Out of respect for those of different perspectives, I haven’t crossposted the pieces on The Moderate Voice. But I thought some of our readers might be interested.

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thanks, Mark.

    I don’t know why anyone would not want to read either of your stories.

    And, like you, I believe that all of us are struggling with why “God didn’t miraculously intervene in the attack of last Friday morning.”

  • cjjack

    I’m not really struggling with that question, Dorian, yet what I find endlessly frustrating is the religious “leaders” who have suggested that the shooting happened because “God is no longer welcome in our schools.”

    As if a locked door that could not stop one sick man with a gun would nonetheless be a perfect shield against the almighty?

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    I agree with you on the “the shooting happened because ‘God is no longer welcome in our schools” meme.

    It was one of my “buts” here:

    Madeleine was only six.

    But, but, our schools have become a place of carnage because we have systematically removed God from our schools.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Mark i did read and would like to softly share some thoughts for a simple exchange…

    I feel that as long as we in any way put blame on God for this we are not mature. I do not believe that God, covertly or overtly allowed this to happen because we did not do such and such….whatever the latest such and such is….

    It sure seems to me, most can agree we have choice at every moment… we can chose to live by that which places others as greater than our small encapsulated self, or at least we can chose to treat others as we would want done to us and our own children, which comes from the divine spark that is accessible to all. Or we can follow the small encapsulated self whose ground is, i, me, mine. In these situations there are very sick individuals that are tortured by their minds and out of that pathology they brought mayhem.

    So to put this on “others” that do not believe as Christan fundamentalist that discounts other faiths as godless because they do not use the name of Jesus seems so defeating of any testimony that a Christan would want to show the world. American is a very faith based nation…but there are many faiths…Children and teachers of all faiths pray in school, but yes, we do not allow one group to dictate the prayers of all the other faiths…That is in order to protect religious liberty for all…It does not mean we are a godless culture. I remember the Amish, how bright their light was, for they were humble and lived an example of the Christ light that still shines as the way.

    I lean with Pema Chodron, a Buddhist monk on issues like this, ” drive all blame into self ” The only thing that can truly be changed with certainty is when we take responsibility for what is. … Not saying guilt but responsibility to see that it does not happen again… i have no need to blame God…
    We are the ones that must clean this up… God gives us the essence, we must use that essence through our flesh…

    Also to imply that this punishment is visited because prayer has been removed from school… i humbly and gently suggest something else…

    Absolute unmixed attention is prayer. Simon Weil
    Attentiveness is the prayer of the soul…our Nation has been in steadfast prayer over this…where our attention is fixed, there in is our prayers…

    Here at TMV we have been in constant prayer, some including myself would say. Perhaps we do not close out with, In the Name of Jesus, yet the essence of many hearts here and far have reached up authentically to utter, help us to find a way to keep our children safe…

    I read this prayer by Mata Amritanandamayi a Hindu woman, that says, her religion is Love a few minutes agao… I will share it here… i appreciate the tone of this prayer…she creates hostages…

    Prayer Message for Newtown
    (18 Dec ’12)

    Amma’s message and prayer for the victims of the school shooting in Connecticut

    “The whole world has been shaken by the gruesome act of violence that happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in
    Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty innocent little angels with their whole lives in front of them and seven staff members who did their best to protect the children are no longer with us today.

    No words can console the parents and the near and dear ones of those lost in the tragedy. We can only embrace them and shed tears along with them. Let us assure them that our hearts, spirits and thoughts are with them in these most difficult moments of their lives.

    Let us pray for the departed souls to rest in eternal peace; let us pray for the parents and the family members to find the inner strength to accept the situation and face these difficult times without breaking down. Let us visualize flowers of peace being showered on the whole world; let us wholeheartedly pray that such incidents never occur again in the future in any part of the world.

    Also, Amma would like to see parents embrace their children with compassion and care, letting them know that you are there for them. Make sure they have the right kind of values in their life, values that will give them mental strength and peace. Let us try our best to weed out the seeds of negativity and violence from sprouting in young minds.”

    Aum Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    May all beings everywhere live in peace and happiness.

    —Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)

    P.S. Amma means Mother in English

  • ordinarysparrow

    Correction… she creates no hostages…

  • ordinarysparrow

    P.S. Mark i appreciate what you shared….i hope many fundamentalist reads your prayerful thoughts…and can move back from the shaming that is so often seen in their exclusiveness….. thanks

  • slamfu

    God was exactly where he was when he let his son be tortured and crucified. Either not existing, or making a very sublime point about everlasting life that awaits us, depending on your perspective. It seems to me a very big point that Jesus was trying to make was to wake us up to the point that this world is a rest stop for us. There is a place we go when we are done here so glorious that no king on earth has ever known such completeness or joy. If you really believe that, really believe, what is there here that we can not endure, understand, and accept knowing what is to come later? I would expect it to be a source of comfort and joy when we pass to the next world. I often wonder how when it happens we instead turn to blaming God. Either our lost loved ones are in paradise exactly as promised, or God doesn’t exist and things just happen like this. Either way, there is no sense in blaming God or asking that question to me.

  • JDave

    Slamfu – Excellent point. Well said. Perfect. Thank you.

  • The_Ohioan

    Yes, slam, perfect.

  • ShannonLeee

    With all of the terrible things that have happened to good innocent people since the dawn of man… it is kind of silly to think that God is overtly allowing these terrible things to happen.

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