An alarming occurrence in the wake of the Newtown shooting has been to blame it on a lack of god or a lack of faith or something like that. Certainly, there’s been some blaming of those who don’t believe.
I don’t think I can add any kind of context to what happened. I don’t think I can say something new about it. But I can say that the idea that my family and others like us bear any kind of responsibility for a society in which this happens is offensive. I could quote statistics at you and point out who, in this country, tends to have violent tendencies, but I won’t. I don’t want to do that today. Instead, I want to make a series of statements.
We are, generally speaking, pacifists. There is no gun in our home. Nor will there be unless the world changes radically and terribly.
I have a three and a half year old daughter. The children who were murdered were not much bigger than her. Last night, she woke up sick. She vomited. It was a rough night. But right now, especially, I can’t help but hold her tightly and take note of her smallness. She is gossamer. There is nothing to her at all.
It is true that I do not believe in god. Or anything supernatural. Not many people seem to understand what that means to most of us who think this way. It means that we are on our own. That we must hold ourselves accountable. That any good that is done is our responsibility. And so is any bad. It means that we must be aware of the fragility of our own lives (there is nothing after) and of the lives of those around us. To take a life like that… There is no idea of a better place.
I never feel up to the task of writing about these kinds of enormous events. Especially when they are so horrible. But I have to speak up about this. I’m a nonbeliever. I am not a monster. Everybody wants to place blame. Please be careful where you place it.