A prayer for Connecticut, and some questions.

Dear Friends,

A lot of folks posting on the most recent tragic shooting in Connecticut… lots of folks using or wanting to use it as a chance to put forward their views on gun control and/or the right to bear arms… and some criticizing President Obama for not using it as such…

There is a time for discourse, and a time for mourning and respectful silence.

May the newly dead find peace, reunion with Those Who Have Gone Before,

May the families and friends of the fallen find solace and healing,

May the Holy Powers bless them all in the fullness of time.

There is a lot of anger being expressed, and frustration, and grief.

I am not trying to condemn that anger. I understand that anger and frustration.

There is no doubt that there needs to be some deep and serious discussions about the fact that it is ten-thousand times easier for a troubled person to get a gun in the U.S., than it is for them to get access to mental and emotional health resources.

Grief is a complex thing and a tragedy like this happening at a time of year where, whatever our faiths, we are reminded of the Holiness of every life, of every child, of our families and beloved friends… it can stir up a lot of complicated emotions.

For me, I want to take some time to remember and honor the fallen. Take some time to contemplate the complex chain of events that can lead to these sorts of tragedies. THEN I want to encourage some serious and deep discussions of this complicated issue!

Even after posting my prayer and some of my thoughts, I have ended up getting into conversations about gun control, the right to bear arms, and the need for a much better mental health safety net in the United States…

Faith groups and people of faith can be reactive or proactive, indeed we can be both at the same time.   What can we as people of faith and faith groups do proactively to change things? I would agree with the idea that gun control is one piece of the puzzle… but what else needs to be done?

What can we do at the personal and local level as well as at the institutional level?

Pax

PS- This post will be edited over the course of the next several hours and few days as I am exposed to meaningful conversations, resources, and relevant blog posts from within the spectrum of the online Pagan and Polytheistic communities…I will also be re-posting something to The Pagan Values Blogject

Here are a couple of useful resources.  While aimed at parents of children, I think both of these are useful for all ages and combinations of family…

How To Talk To Your Kids About The Conn. Shooting, from NPR

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting, from the APA

Here are some responses from the Pagan blogosphere, some of which feature links to other responses and statements within our many interlinked Pagan and Polytheist communities…

KaliSara from Kali-Ma: The Dark Side of Parenting & Paganism writes about Tragedy and gun control.

The author of A Less Travelled Path links to her own post in School Shooting Atrocity.

Crystal Blanton shares her prayers in May The Gods Walk In Connecticut Tonight

Jason Pitzle-Waters, editor and correspondent for The Wild Hunt shares a few of the many Prayers in the Face of Unspeakable Tragedy.

Biblebelt Witch shares some prayers of her own in CT school shooting.

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5 thoughts on “A prayer for Connecticut, and some questions.

  1. I applaud putting first things first. Compassion for those affected most needs to be our first concern. Perhaps some compassion for the “troubled” among us could have prevented this horrible event from happening. However, we do seem much more familiar with anger than with compassion. It may be that stronger gun control is needed, but this is not something that should be discussed while emotions are running so high. It is reactionary thinking that put people like Hitler in power. Let’s not jump from the frying pan into the fire. This is a time to attend to the victims of this tragedy.

    • Steve,

      I think that it is a combination of difficult discussions that are needed… gun control, the mental health safety net in the U.S., class-ism, racism, poverty, and the general level of violence in our society.. I feel like it is time , far past time that the spectrum of Contemporary Paganism starts bringing our voices to the conversation. I think that being willing to engage in these difficult discussions with honor and respectfulness is a part of what our Gods and Ancestors expect from us… we must seek excellence not only on the personal level, but the civic and social ones as well…

  2. Well said. Beer & Cookies for wanting to not co-opt the tragedies people are dealing with directly for a national discussion.

    This touches on similar things I have heard from friends and others who work in mental health care and social services that echo Reya’s call for fixing the mental health system and the overall climate it exists in, and does it with a call to listen first that I appreciate.

    • At the same time it feels very right that these conversations should be started on the individual and communal levels… ! … maybe that’s it… now is the time for individuals to wrestle with the deep topics that something like this can bring to mind and heart… Gods, though, In what little conversations I’ve had with folks I know I’ve found some hope and healing…

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on the discussions about Current Events, and the art of constructive conversation. | Chrysalis

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