It didn't take very long after Friday's chilling shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater for politics to take center stage. Yes, while both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both suspended their campaigns, TV news analyst, bloggers, writers and an assortment of others didn't miss a beat to pin the blame on their opponents.
Gun control activists declared the tragedy would never have occurred if suspect James E. Holmes had faced tougher laws to restrict gun ownership. Gun rights activists argued that if laws were different, perhaps others would have been strapped and could have taken him down.
Others lambasted The Occupy Movement since it was reported that Holmes had ties to the group. Others slammed some of the media for possibly linking him to the Tea Party. Still others injected race into the issue, claiming he was getting preferential treatment because he is white.
On Facebook, my news feed become cluttered with Reddit-like, Photoshop jobs like these:
Feeling disappointment that so many on the left and right are using the tragedy in Colorado to score cheap, shameful points in support of their personal politics.
Stop it. Please.
For me, as someone who falls nearly completely in the political center, neither side's arguments are compelling because it's wrapped in death, pain, tears and loss. It's vulgar, actually.
Instead of preaching to your respective choirs, follow the example of Jesus by praying for your enemies. And while you're at it, take a minute and pray for the actual victims and their families.
Within 45 minutes, the plea for prayer turned into a near-debate between two of my FB friends who are complete strangers to each other.
Why is it that so many are far more comfortable screaming at each other than taking a moment out to reflect on this tragedy, and more importantly, pray?
May those who lost their lives rest in peace, healing come completely and speedily to those wounded, and comfort and support the many grieving from the shooting.