The Rev. Frederick Schmidt writes on his weblog, What God Wants for Your Life, about responses to recent murders:
I am never quite sure what to make of Christian leaders and teachers who say that “they are shocked” at something like the murders in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or that they “no longer recognize our country.” As a window into anger and grief, perhaps such observations are meant to express the shock we all experience when something so brutal and seemingly random occurs.
But any robust doctrine of sin and evil that arises out of the Jewish and Christian traditions acknowledges the presence of evil in the world. And even a modicum of attention to the news demonstrates that only the narrowest sampling of world events could create the impression that such evil is not always and everywhere on display.
Christian leaders do an injustice to their communities when they feed the lack of realism that seemingly suggests that people are “basically good” and that all the world needs is a bit of therapy and a better social order. And they do even greater damage when they collapse emotionally in public, indulging their own grief, rather than speaking directly to the grief of their communities.