An OpEd by Meg Helgert, FNP
I’ve been thinking about all the shootings lately and what seems to be driving this…in a few words..fanatical religious thinking at some level, not necessarily the whole story, however a large majority of incidents seem related. I wonder if more religious groups/leaders need to come together and help solve this.
Placing the burden for this squarely on the shoulders of the US government will not resolve this. It hasn’t so far and it is but a small part of a much bigger issue facing our country. Allowing the gun lobby to control members of congress and many splinter groups across the country isn’t a viable solution either. Church and state need to stay separated, so it makes sense for church leaders to open up dialogue with all faiths on this very serious problem we are facing, and make the first move.
It seems that many of the shootings involve believers or beliefs that are attributed to religious motives. As such, wouldn’t it make sense that a coalition of religious leaders who address how they are delivering their messages and what their message brings in this day and time might be an important step towards minimizing these shootings?
I maintain this would to be responsible church leadership. Gun control is one thing but definitely not the whole answer. Addressing mental health in our society is also part of the answer. Nevertheless, many of folks believe strongly in what their religions teach them and religious leaders need to look seriously at the messages and doctrines they are preaching to their church members. This is definitely not a “quick fix” but a very positive start in the right direction. Many people look to religeous leaders for guidance and to this extent they have a profound responsibility in the messages they give their parishioners. Many of the messages given to members from the pulpit are taken literally and much of bible teaching is metaphorical. To know this difference is the mainstay of responsible church leadership....a huge responsibility in delivering a message based on peace & respect for all human beings... Click To Tweet
There is a huge responsibility in delivering a message based on peace and respect for all human beings; all walks of life and for all who inhabit this small blue planet we call home.
In my humble opinion…
Meg Helgert, Family Nurse Practitioner