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Take a Breath

Take a breath. Now take another. The entire country just needs to breathe and, perhaps, take a walk.

Please do not hear me say that the terrible tragedy in San Bernardino was anything less than horrific or that Daesh is anything less than evil, but let’s take a breath. Right-wing politicians and the media have joined forces to whip the American people into a frenzy of fear and anxiety. Suddenly, a majority is ready to go to war, a war in which we will be dragged into guerrilla fighting like in the war in Afghanistan, which has gone on for more than a decade, or Iraq, which also continues today. We have killed more than a million people, the majority of them innocent; spent more than a trillion dollars; sacrificed thousands of our own daughters and sons; and succeeded only in making the world less stable and more dangerous. Oh yeah, we need more of THAT!The fear-mongering politicians and the military-industrial complex-owned media are driving us relentlessly in that direction, and peace-loving Americans are cowering in silence, grief, and fear. Take a breath and look at the facts. San Bernardino was tragic, as were the other 350-plus mass shootings in America so far this year, all but three of which were committed by non-Muslims. If we want to be safer from mass shootings then we should be locking up young, angry, white male Christians. They are, statistically, the most dangerous by far.

Take a breath. Yes, Daesh is evil, but, just like fundamentalist Christians, these fundamentalist Muslims anticipate the world to end in an apocalyptic battle. Are we really determined to give them exactly what they are trying to provoke, or is there a more sensible way to contain and eliminate this evil?

The truth is we are much more likely to be killed by a driver who is texting than we are by a terrorist. Why are we letting our politicians and media terrorize us? Take a breath. Rebuke the anxiety. Repudiate the fear-mongers. Lindsey Graham said we should tell Donald Trump to, “Go to hell.” I think that is where we should consign them all, all the demon carriers of fear who would manipulate us in this season when we should be tuning our hearts to beat with the One we call Prince of Peace!


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Rev. Michael Piazza

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