Prayer For the Shooting Victims at Planned Parenthood

Holy One,

So many cite you as the author of their violence.
You seem unable to stop your own followers
when they bomb, strike or shoot.
Whatever name people call you
is turned into vengence, retribution or hatred;
an excuse for those slaughtered in the name of truth.
Nowhere are we told that you reside in the belly of our own certainty,
You do however accompany us into the depth of death.
Have you not been sated by sacrifice?
Is blood not enough for your macabre thirst?
Are not the bruises of misogyny from your texts?
It is not a faint line that is often drawn from your book
to those who shoot and maim in your name.

Today we remember those killed and injured in Colorado Springs,
and for all the terror involved in health clinic bombings and shootings.
Yet, the religious culture wars have more than these victims.
Many more are added to the rolls that will not see memorials
etched in granite on our town squares.

We weep for the transgender brother or sister,
killed in an alley or their own home,
we gnash our teeth for the women in ICU
beaten because she was not submissive enough,
we wail for the black man shot in the back
by those who fear someone running away,
we cry out for the child enduring the lash
in efforts to “break their will.”
To those refugees fleeing violence, beheading and rape
our politicians have hardened their hearts
we repent and hope they see the violence of inaction.

To those bruised and scared by these bloody and misguided “culture wars”
we ask for pardon from your self-righteous minnons.
If you can not stop their tongue at least silence their guns, fists and violence.
Give us peace and restraint in the midst of this ugly dross,
for we know that a truth abides greater in our hope,
a truth that grows out of love and is stronger than hate.
We hold steadfast to good news and life that is abundant and growing,
not the tired rhetoric of hate and the bile of an incinerating cruelty,
for hate will not win and cruelty will be destroyed by judgment.
We put our hope in the sanctitiy of an everlasting promise,
that grace is sufficient and we will see you in the faces of others.

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