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Tom Truby

Thanks Michael. I appreciate your interpretive comments on contemporary life. It helps me remain non-anxious with my parishoners and even provide them with a broader frame for understanding our culture, its deterioration, and the hope of the Gospel.

nancy hitt

This past Sunday during prayer requests we found ourselves overwhelmed trying to remember accurately the multiple shooting events of the past week. People were bewildered by the seeming randomness of the events. Reading an article in the NY Times today about the increasing violence in Iraq toward gays helped me account for our own phenomenon- we've identified groups of victims of violence and moved to protect them such that violence toward them no longer brings any sort of relief to the tension around them. In Iraq, the violence toward gay men is intense; they are such "legitimate" targets that families kill their gay sons and then refuse to claim the bodies; they are deeply ashamed of gay members. Here, there is little or no shame involved, in fact, we have pride... and no "acceptable" targets for the violence among us. Hence our multiple random shootings that we struggle to understand. I appreciate your perceptions Michael; we need to remember that the answer is NOT an acceptable target, but rather, following Jesus. Eliminating targets turns our violence back on ourselves- at which point we do well to turn to him!

michael hardin

Thanks John and Nancy. As you can see almost every day since this post there have been killings with multiple deaths (including one today at a Michigan college). What I see happening is a mimetic doubling effect, the more it occurs, the more it will occur. Can it be stopped? Certainly not as long as we have guns as available as we have here in the US and as long as the stresses of mimesis (job layoffs, downscaling, uncertainty, etc) keep rising. As we head toward summer expect to see this as an almost daily occurrance with people everythwre saying "it has never happened here before." Then comes the heat of summer....

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