Bishop McKee Responds To Shootings In El Paso, Dayton
Last Saturday morning, 22 people were killed and 24 were injured by a young man at a Walmart in El Paso. It has been discovered that, prior to his solo act, the man wrote a racist and evil diatribe that echoed demeaning, hateful language that has become all too common. Early Sunday morning, a lone gunman killed nine – including his sister – and injured 14 in Dayton, Ohio.
In the aftermath of both of these horrific acts, the all-too-common phrase of “in our thoughts and prayers” was offered once again by many. The continued mass shootings in our country and communities must be a wake-up call for our communities and for all Christians. After each of these events over a number of years, there have been calls for more mental health resources, the refusal to sell firearms to persons with mental health conditions and the call for more stringent background checks.
But nothing has ever happened.
So, here are the questions I am asking:
- Was the shooter in El Paso known to have a mental-health condition?
- Had he passed a background check or would he have passed one?
- How did he acquire a weapon such as he used to kill 22 people?
- And why did he acquire such a weapon? His diatribe tells us that he had fallen prey to the evil ideology of white supremacy.
As a follower of Christ, I have prayed many times since Saturday morning. I keep asking God, “What are Your desired outcomes?” In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he states, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Paul is not saying that this is God’s will or plan, but that – no matter what happens – God is able to work for good with us. Perhaps God is saying to all of us that it is time for us to work for the common good.
For me, it is time to speak out and act more boldly against racism however it presents itself. I will no longer let a careless, racist comment occur and not speak. No act will go unchallenged.
I am seeking an appointment with my representative to encourage him to act on behalf of those who were murdered and on behalf of their families. I also intend to ask why someone needs to own a weapon that was designed to kill so many people. What are you going to do? And to the clergy of the North Texas Conference, I will have your back each and every time you speak out against racism.
Let’s respond differently this time. Let’s call evil for what it is and not refer to it as mental illness. Let’s combat racism in our communities and our churches. And may our prayers ask God what it is God is calling us to do.
Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2019