I'm overwhelmed with heartsickness for the beautiful people made in God's image that were killed ruthlessly-once again in this country-by gun violence. I'm angry, too. Angry that we continue to be a nation that has bought into the narrative that asserts guns are necessary for people and for a nation to be safe. That narrative has made its way into the DNA of so many, here and around the world. When we consistently allow the madness of producing and encouraging the selling of guns made to kill massive numbers of people we should not be surprised that people who can't imagine any other way of dealing with their problems will turn to this kind of "solution."

And one more thing: I am moved to the depths of my soul by the powerful acts of love, grace and courage by those who worked to save life, acted selflessly, and modeled for us the opposite of killing others by putting their own lives on the line to save others. At it's core, this shooting spree reminds us that until our policies, convictions and legislation reflect the deeper spirituality of cherishing people as precious, and standing up for the innate dignity of every person, we will continue to fall into the same darkness. God help us to use our brains and our hearts.

Bishop Thomas M. Aitken


Aitken is Bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod/Evangelical Lutheran church in America which includes the Brainerd Lakes area