THE FOURTH ESTATE

Five Dead at Annapolis GazetteThen Jesus said to (them) who had believed in him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32

 

I do not want to write about ugly things. I want to write about the love of God and the peace of Christ. But we keep getting bombarded with tragedy, and as practicing Christians, it’s important to examine our secular perspective. Last week, a man entered the offices of the Annapolis, Maryland, Gazette newspaper with a shotgun and smoke grenades and killed five employees. He intended to kill many more but was stopped by law enforcement. They said the man once unsuccessfully sued the paper and must have somehow felt his attack was justified. And then, the same rhetoric began again: the nation’s “leader” said he stood in solidarity with the Gazette and would stop at nothing to ensure our nation’s safety; the debate began again about the Second Amendment and whether the problem was guns or mental health or both or neither; the period of “watchful news reading” began, but can be expected to fade with very little time, just as it has each time our nation has faced gun violence.

 

But this time the debate is really about the value some place on the First Amendment and others place on the Second Amendment. The Washington Post has coined a “new” slogan within the last two years: “Democracy Dies In Darkness.” Some of that “darkness” was on vivid display at the Annapolis Gazette, when five innocent people, just doing their job on an ordinary day, fell prey to the madness that has become The Gun Safety Debate. More darkness: our nation’s “leader” has called the press “the enemy of the people.”

 

In British government, the “three estates” were the king, the clergy and the commoners. The United States was founded to separate church and state, and the term “fourth estate” is sometimes used to place the press alongside the three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” Christians are to be peacemakers. Their role in gun safety matters.

 

Come, Lord Jesus, give us tools and passion to bring about peace. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has worked with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and war veterans.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

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