Gab AI released a press statement about that fat guy who shot up the synagogue in Pittsburgh. They made a good point in that while they are a free expression platform, they also contacted and turned over the violent users content and posts to all law enforcement. If we censor and cut out unpleasant thought, there’s no paper trail for when people snap like this.
But that’s not what this is about. This is about a somewhat easy to forget message.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
That’s Christ in Matthew 5:44. I’m going to confess, part of me was actually hoping the shooter was a member of multiple different social groups, most notably, not any I belong to. I’m not sure this is the time to try and have compassion for ‘all the moderate anti semites who are now given a bad name’ but it does bring to mind the shooting in Pennsylvannia of those Amish folk a few years back. Short recap: a dude locked himself in a school with ten little girls and shot them. In response, about 40 Amish showed up at the shooters funeral to support his parents.
“I will never forget the devastation caused by my son,” says the 65-year-old Terri. “But one of the fathers the other night, he said, ‘None of us would have ever chosen this. But the relationships that we have built through it, you can’t put a price on that.’ “
In this case, we have a fellow who somehow felt it necessary to go and kill 11 people over the age of 60. And only because Jesus says so, I’m going to pray for the kind of person who gets so lost that killing peoples grandparents seems like the right thing to do.
How can you dehumanize people if you have compassion for them? That’s one of the unintentional consequences of praying for your enemies. ISIS fighters, some of whom just joined for the $700 a month paycheck, which is a pretty rich wage in some parts of the middle east, deserve our prayers. Have you ever seen a U.S. bomber take off? Would you want those hunting you? I wouldn’t.
Pray for the angriest activists in Pakistan who are calling for mass murder of Christians should Asia Bibi not receive the death penalty. She’s a mother of two on trial for the heinous crime of discussing her faith when confronted by her neighbors of a different faith. Instead of letting their difference be a point of discussion, they did everything they legally could to make her life bad and she has spent the last 10 years in Jail and after a delay on the ruling the Supreme Court of Pakistan is deciding if she gets the death penalty or not.
We can’t get into the trap of sending anyone who disagrees with us to the death chambers. Nor can we risk the idea of Corruption of Blood. This is a British term from the days of the monarchy where any attempt to overthrow the government lead to your entire bloodline being banned from holding land or any other kind of government influence.
Which means that guy who shot up the Republican baseball game deserves compassion too..
Of course, the hard part to swallow is to personally do it for people who are actually like in front of you attacking you personally. For example: