How (NOT) To Respond to Tragedy // A reflection on the mass killings in Orlando


Sunday marked yet ANOTHER mass killing here in the United States – resulting in the largest number of deaths to date, when Omar Mateen opened fire on Pulse, a night club established for the LGBTQ community.

Each week it seems we wake to another mass shooting and another threat of terror somewhere on the globe that feels all to close to home.  We shrink back at the news of viruses and illnesses seemingly capable of wiping out larger portions of the population.  And then there are the often unpredictable natural disasters that lurk beneath and above us waiting to catch us off guard.

There has been and always will be plenty to fear.  Perhaps this is why God often attempts to comfort those who follow him with the charge, “Do not be afraid.”

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Jesus, Caitlyn Jenner, and The Way of Kindness


I typically don’t follow celebrity news closely, and this is true of Caitlyn Jenner as well.  What I do follow rather acutely are the responses by people on my Facebook feed.  I can gauge the climate of an issue typically within seconds.  I am sure I am not alone in having a diverse “friend list”, but my time growing up in rural Alabama and and my ongoing work among a relatively conservative group of Christians, coupled with my time at one of the South’s most liberal seminaries usually engenders me to a wide sampling of opinions on any given issue.

Last week as news broke of Josh Duggar, a conservative Christian reality TV star who inappropriately touched girls as a young teenager – some of whom were his sisters – I saw many socially conservative Christians taking up for him, asking for others to be gracious and forgiving of his criminal activity, and essentially asking everyone to just leave him alone.

This week, as news broke of Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner,  many in the conservative Christian community not only posted their disapproval, but have resorted to outright inappropriate speech, and at times genuinely hateful discourse about another human being whose greatest “crime” is being confused about one’s own gender and the efforts taken to figure things out. Continue reading