The Prophets: Parents of Newtown

The parents of the murdered children of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown are back in Washington, D.C today and tomorrow. They are meeting with our nation’s law-makers.

Like Jeremiah, “the Weeping Prophet” who cried over the plight of his people, these mourning parents are courageous spokespersons for sanity, compassion, and an end to America’s love of violence.

May the Spirit that inspires these grieving parents to leave home for meetings in the center of American power and public scrutiny stir the consciences of the Congressional Representatives and Senators with whom they meet.

A friend brought to my attention “Thank God, I’m Alive” on the latest tragedy of gun violence to garner national attention in Santa Monica, California.

As Moses said when Joshua wanted to silence two people (Eldad and Medad) who were speaking out without authorization: “I wish that all God’s people were prophets!” (Book of Numbers 11:29, Torah, Hebrew Bible).

I invite your prayers and well wishes for the parents of Newtown as they carry forward the prophetic tradition. Let no one silence you. Speak the truth with love, and let the Spirit do its work.

Please share your comments.

Home of the scared and the land of the tyrannized

This afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 Protect Minnesota will host a demonstration in the MN Capitol Rotunda in support of state legislation re: gun violence.

As part of its efforts, Protect Minnesota invited individuals to write letters to MN Senate and House Judiciary Committee members. This letter went out this morning.

Greetings,

I am a Christian Pastor. I write you out of deep concern for the unrestrained violence taking place in the name of “the right to liberty” that imperils “the right of life…and the pursuit of happiness”. The three rights proclaimed in The Declaration of Independence are intended to be mutually supportive, not mutually exclusive. The right to liberty was never intended to take the other two rights hostage.

I strongly support legislation and enforcement of laws that place gun ownership in its proper place in our common life. The Second Amendment does NOT grant unlimited rights for anyone to purchase and use a gun anywhere anytime any more than the First Amendment on free speech allows speech that slanders or libels, lies under oath, or yells “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

As Senators and Representatives, you were elected by the people in your districts. Once you took the oath of office, your responsibility changed. You entered the halls of representative democracy where leadership requires you to act by your own consciences, not by public opinion polls in your districts. We are a representative democracy, not a pure democracy). Your responsibility as Senators and Representatives is to LEAD WISELY not only for the sake of your own constituents but for the greater good of the entire State of Minnesota.

We are quickly becoming, if we are not already, an armed camp in which the “neighbor” of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings is regarded as an anachronism. Unless you plug the holes in our background check system by requiring a check for every pistol or assault weapon sale, the rights of life and the pursuit of happiness will be held hostage by unrestrained liberty, and the home of the brave and the land of the free will continue on the way to become the home of the scared and the land of the unrestrained individual tyranny.

Thank you for listening.
Respectfully,

Gordon C. Stewart