Here in the US we are yet again reeling from another mass killing, this time in an elementary school. As I click around on Facebook, Twitter and on various blogs I find a wide array of responses to the tragedy in Connecticut, some more resonant with my feelings than others.
Two responses of which I took particular note dovetailed in that they both reference a video that has gone viral. Both Brother Richard and Brian Dalton (Mr. Deity) refer to Bryan Fischer’s reaction which blames schools for “kicking God out.” He argues that “God is a gentleman and does not go where he is not welcomed and invited.” I wonder where he was in 1994 in Rwanda. A church filled with nearly 1000 believers was left filled with corpses over three bloody days, sadly only an exclamation point on a 100 day, 800,000 person genocide. I also wonder where he is while children are molested by priests.
Yes, yesterday there was a horrible event in the US that led to the deaths of 20 young boys and girls, but according to UNICEF “research and experience show that six million of the almost 11 million children who die each year could be saved by low-tech, evidence-based, cost-effective measures such as vaccines, antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets and improved family care and breastfeeding practices.”
Doing the math, that means over 16,000 children also died yesterday in what could be called “genocide by neglect.” Simple question: why do we ignore 16,000 and at the same time have saturation coverage of 20? Why will we come to know the names and faces of the victims in suburban Connecticut but rarely if ever learn the stories of the thousands that die each day unnoticed?
We need a world with fewer guns, more reason and a balanced set of priorities.
Note: This is cross-listed on www.servingatheists.org