A faith response to the senseless murders in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In the wake of yet another mass shooting, this time at Club Q in Colorado Springs, we grieve the loss of life and the injuries and lasting trauma experienced by our LGBTQIA+ siblings.
In describing the Suffering Servant, Isaiah wrote: “By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future?” And yet, he goes on, “Out of your anguish you will see joy and light. Knowledge of you, O Righteous One, will turn many to justice” (Isaiah 53: 8,11).
While suffering is often a natural part of our finite existence, we cannot ignore that suffering is also caused by “a perversion of justice.” Ours is a weary world suffering because of human greed, fear, or lack of caring.
But what joy and light can come of suffering, be it natural or unjust? If it be natural, it can move those who witness it to greater compassion and increase the bonds of love and communion. If it be a suffering endured because of a perversion of justice, it can be an occasion for our society’s redemption.
Suffering in and of itself isn’t redemptive, and we certainly don’t suggest that there is anything “good” about this latest tragedy in too long a list—but it can motivate us to challenge the hate, misinformation and opportunistic fear-mongering that cause such suffering.
Therefore, the member communities of the Colorado Council of Churches lift up the innocent lives lost and honor them, because they are worthy of recognition as God’s beloved children. It is our duty to challenge the bigoted homophobic and transphobic rhetoric that fans the flames of intolerance and puts lives at risk. Such violence cannot be justified by one's personal beliefs, faith, or political views about human sexuality.
We have a terrible track record of not learning from such tragedies. Yet, through the persistent efforts and commitment of many ordinary people, the arc over time does bend toward justice and dignity for all. Let us lean into this hope to stir our courage and sustain our actions on behalf of those who are most vulnerable among us.