Once more, we are confronted with deadly violence that jarringly erupts, disrupts and changes forever the lives of it immediate victims and leaves society scarred well beyond the nearby community. This time it was at a Planned Parenthood Clinic, next to a shopping center the day after Thanksgiving at the height of the Christmas buying season. Because of the site of the killings, even before the full extent of the motivation is clear, it is imperative that this action be condemned in the strongest terms, especially by those of us who believe in the sanctity, dignity and quality of human life at all its stages. Murderous violence has no place among those committed to protecting, promoting and enhancing human life. Those who claim otherwise need to be exposed as expressing deviant religious beliefs and values.
In the days to come, there will be time to analyze, among others, the critical issues of gun violence and mental illness. There will be opportunities to deal with the significant differences some of us have with certain services provided by Planned Parenthood. We cannot avoid this, but today is not the day.
Now is the time to stand in solidarity with those who were killed and their families. We pray for recovery for those wounded and traumatized. We pray for all of us, as a nation and as a world. The ending of the “Hymn to Love” sung by Celine Dion at the American Music Awards gives expression to our prayerful plea: “Do you believe that we love one another. God reunites those who love one another.