After Pittsburgh | Fr Steve Rice

Last night I attended the vigil at Temple Emanuel in response to the anti-Semitic murders in Pittsburgh. The Winston-Salem Journal reported 500 in attendance, but it felt like much more. I'm still reflecting on what has happened and I will share those reflections once they have been filtered through some prayer.

Until then, I need to say this: the Christian response, the Christian worldview, is to choose life. The Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh rightly quoted Deuteronomy 30 in which Moses presented before the people two paths - one of life and one of death. He pleaded with his people to choose life. The taking of human life is not Christian. It is antithetical to everything we believe in and hope for. When I reflect on how and why these horrific acts continue to happen, I can't help but think of how this firm Christian commitment to human life is quietly but surely eroded and with devastating consequences.

We, as a society, have allowed the devaluation of human life. We have allowed this because it is easier, but it is not right and it is certainly not Christian. The moment we grant permission for the devaluation of one human life, we have opened the door for the devaluation of any human life.

Jesus Christ gave his life for the life of the world. He gave his life so we may have it, have it abundantly, and protect it for others. With all appreciation and due respect for the calls to make the change we need at the polls, it will not start there. It will begin in prayer. It will start in the pew.

From the psalms at Morning Prayer today:

O put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man, for there is no help in them...Blessed is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help and whose hope is in the Lord his God. Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is, who keepeth his promise for ever, who helpeth them to right that suffer wrong, and feedeth the hungry, the Lord looseth men out of prison...The Lord shall be King for evermore, even thy God O Zion throughout all generations. Praise ye the Lord. Psalm 146

GeneralFr. Steve Rice