Throughout history, there have been those reckless individuals who perpetrated hideous crimes beneath some nobler cause or symbol. Klansmen burned crosses, a sacred symbol to Christians, and carried out lynchings in the name of God. Taliban madmen shot to death more than one hundred innocent children in Pakistan last week. They did so in the name of God. Today we mourn the cowardly executions of policemen in Brooklyn by a deranged individual who apparently decided to cover up his hideous assassinations by appealing to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. How awful. How wicked and misguided.
We pray for the families of these slain officers. We pray for police everywhere who do their best to protect us and live up to the highest standards of their communities and of our country. But do not be misled by those on the right or left who would lay this at the feet of a movement righteously asking for accountability.
Revenge is not the answer—Christ rejected it outright. The cycle of violence must end. A non-violent movement dedicated to justice rejects violence as a resolution to violence. May all of us hear the better angels of our natures calling out to us in this Christmas season. As the Fellowship of Reconciliation would say, There is no way to peace–Peace is the way. Peter, put away your gun.