Shootings at Tree of Life Synagogue

I am grieving, as we all are, for the victims of the shootings at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania last Saturday. Once again we hear of a radicalized person targeting people of faith in a sacred space.

Once again shock waves of grief and fear are going through the nation as we process the horror of the scene. I am especially fearful for my two nephews who have been raised in the Jewish faith. I wonder, will they suffer harm from members of hate groups?

Today’s lesson from Morning Prayer includes Luke 11:34, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness.”

The shooter appears to be a person who was radicalized by his immersion in hate groups on the internet. The internet harbors some very dark places where evil spreads like a virus. Loners like this shooter enter an echo chamber of lies, conspiracy theories, and hatred.

We must find a way to prevent a tiny minority of hate-filled people to magnify their message through social media. And our nation’s leaders must model responsible language and behavior.

We are all praying for the victims of the shooting and for their families and friends. May God gather them under the shadow of his wings.

Bill

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