Our hearts are broken by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on the heels of other mass shootings in our nation. We agonize over the 28 victims of this tragedy. Twenty were children, six were teachers and administrators, and two were mother and son, the son being the gunman, who suffered from unknown (to us) maladies.
National dialogue currently centers on gun-control legislation. While we are sympathetic to these efforts, we believe the fundamental issues lie elsewhere.
Our culture has become accepting of acts of violence in its many forms. It pervades our entertainment industry, and it is found in the lack of civil discourse on the airwaves and in print media, the torture of enemy combatants, violence in sporting events and the death penalty. If you find any of the aforementioned acceptable, we invite you to deeper reflection.
Each of us is guardian of the self, and we share responsibility for our culture’s infatuation with violence. Affirming our better natures, let us not be lulled into complacency through legislation, but let us seek peace in our own hearts, and let us be the incarnation of peace we wish to see in the world.
On this week’s anniversary of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we call on each person, each family, each religious body, each community and each nation to renewed dialogue and commitment to nonviolence.
Rev. Jeffrey G. Jones
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Editor’s note: Jones’ letter was signed by 11 additional Unitarian Universalist clergy and candidates for ministry in north and central Georgia.