We weren’t surprised the shooter was a white supremacist, were we? Violence is nothing new for these people. Don’t you think hate is somewhere hidden behind all of these mass shootings? Anger, hatred, disdain, contempt…
Millions of American boys play those odious first person shooter games (don’t get me started), but very few of them grab their own assault rifle and go on a shooting spree. I just believe that those who do that are fueled by hatred.
HATRED. Of who the hell knows what. Women. Immigrants. People of color. Their parents. Themselves.
This is what Jesus was talking about in the Sermon on the Mount.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)
Whenever we read something in the Bible about hell we start paddling like crazy to figure out how we can make sure we never go there. We picture that fiery place of eternal torture that is waiting for us if we get something really wrong during our 80+ years on this planet. But folks, that is not what Jesus is doing here.
He’s talking about life. About now. About how we work as people and what is really going to kill our souls.
Do you see it?
It’s not about MURDER. It’s about ANGER.
Anger. “Raca.” “You fool!”
Raca is an Aramaic term that means something like “you empty headed idiot.” Empty headed. So, lacking a brain? Like not really a full human person. Sounds like white supremacy doesn’t it? Sounds like misogyny, right? Yeah. That’s what he’s talking about.
A later New Testament writer hits on the same thing.
“…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Call me crazy, but in general I don’t think people murder without rage. (And high powered guns, of course, but that’s another post). It’s a deep seated hatred that corrodes the soul and results in death. Hell really. That’s what we’re looking at here. Hell.