Would you like to know the sad truth? None of these actions will prevent gun violence. Together they may have a small impact; but we cannot rely upon legislation to solve our problems. We: you and I, have to solve our problems. No, I’m not saying you have to go kill someone or turn your neighbor into the police. What I am saying is that the collective we: you, me, AND our neighbors, all have a shared responsibility, and we should have a shared value system, and that’s where the wheels fall off this train, our country no longer has a shared value system.
Our current leader does not help this, his rhetoric is divisive at times, he should just turn off his Twitter account, or at least wait an hour. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything better on the Democratic side, most of them are just too far to the left for my comfort. I’d like to see someone in the middle – someone that would put the country first, and not themselves or the party, but alas, I ask for too much. Sorry ‘bout that, back to our topic…
I am a Christian. The particular flavor doesn’t matter. Remember, at the beginning of this article, I said I’d return to how faith comes into the conversation? Yep, we’re there.
I recently read a book by Bishop Robert Barron, “Letter to a Suffering Church.” If you haven’t I encourage you to read it, while it is mainly about the Catholic Church and the current sexual abuse scandal, it does have some relevance to our conversation.
The Bishop has tracked, for a number of years, the percentage of the US population that does not associate with a faith, and he has found…
In the 1970s, roughly 5% of our population didn’t associate with a particular faith, by the 1990’s that number grew to roughly 6%, but recently the percentage exploded to nearly 25%! For those under the age of thirty, the percentage is roughly 40%. 40% of our population does not associate with a faith, a common set of values. That my friend, is a problem.
I once wrote a paper for college, that compared the major religions, and came to the conclusion that each of the religions was trying to lift its populace to a “better place.” Some call it Heaven, some call it “Nirvana,” and so on. The end location’s name is immaterial, what mattered is the life you lived and how you interacted with those around you. (I’m sure some will interject the high jacking of Islam here, but that is not the context of this conversation). No matter the religion, there are two aspects:
- Faith Based: People should behave and shared beliefs (i.e. the core beliefs).
- Action Based: A set of ethics that rules how one should live their life and interact with their neighbor.
Some common threads between religions include:
Love – “the golden rule,” treat others as you would like to be treated. The Dalai Lama felt Compassion is what religions have in common, the natural capacity of the human heart to feel concern for and connection with another being – constitutes a basic aspect of our nature shared by all human beings, as well as being the foundation of our happiness.
Faith in an unseen God. This also provides boundaries for communities to develop. People of the same belief system tend to come together, many faiths preach that serving and helping others, regardless of their personal beliefs, is the right thing to do. In that way, religion or faith also promotes acts of selflessness, humanity, charity, and responsibility.
What say you? Are you fed up with this Bologna? Drop me a line if you agree or disagree. I’d like to hear from you.