We are devastated by the tragic news from the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh today. While details are still unfolding, what we do know is clear: another heinous act has transformed a sacred place of worship into a violent bloody massacre. Our hearts ache for the victims, their loved ones, the police officers who were injured trying to stop the carnage, and the entire community.
Today’s tragedy is only the latest in a series of all too frequent mass shootings. Slaughtering people gathered to worship God in a space that should be a safe sanctuary for peace and love makes this particularly horrifying. The truth is that we should no longer be shocked by news such as this and yet it continues to shock us every time it happens. We have seen this happen too many times before. An elementary school in Sandy Hook, a night club in Orlando, Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, a high school in Parkland. The list keeps growing.
Americans deserve to be safe while enjoying concerts, attending school, and praying in houses of worship. Our leaders need act to prevent the next Pittsburgh from happening. God help us, as long as elected officials continue to abdicate their basic responsibility to protect the American people, we are doomed to wait until tragedy strikes again.
The Rev. Marilyn B. Kendrix
Transitional Conference Minister
Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ