Newtown Sermons, Prayers and Poetry

Six months after the brutal murder of 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary is becoming a reality. We want it to be a place of peace, peace born of terrible, incomprehensible violence. Peace is the only answer to evil. Because no amount of hate, no gun or bullets, can kill love. Especially the love of a child like our daughter, Catherine Hubbard.
As individuals, we are responsible for our choices, especially the choice to kill. But something in our collective heart appears diseased. We cling to guns, it seems, more tightly than we cling to God.
To return to joy, to build a safe world for our children, to heal, we must take a stand against guns. To be people of courage, integrity, heart and grace, we must see it through this time.
When God fails to intervene in human suffering, the acceptance of a loving deity who cares for his children arouses fresh doubts.
For too long, the work of many of these groups attracted little public notice. Hopefully, however, that will now change. They will not be easily dismissed.
In the spirit of the Magi who brought gifts to the Christ Child, let's take a few moments to consider what gifts we should bring to all of God's children.
Providing an opportunity for public school children to reflect on their unique values through a moment of silence does not need to violate the first amendment's prohibition on establishing a religion.
All the guns in the world will never "fix" the problem of fear. They will not rescue gun-supporters from a need to live in constant hyper-vigilance against our fellow human beings. In fact, they will result in the opposite: They will only increase violence, threats, fears and cynicism. Idols have a way of doing that.
In the end, I believe that the NRA will find out that the Rev. Canon Gary R. Hall, Dean of the National Cathedral, was correct when he said: "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
We now find ourselves in a liminal space, knowing that this is precisely the time in which we, together, will either effectively address our country's obsession with limitless and needlessly violent weaponry, or slide back into our typically self-focused and detached existence.
By Solange De Santis Religion News Service NEWTOWN, Conn. (RNS) As the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School returned
When did we as a nation allow the right to bear arms to supersede children's right to bear dreams? There are more gun dealers in our nation than there are houses of worship. When did the hunger for weapons outstrip our hunger to glimpse God's dream for us as a people?
Do we want a God who is all-powerful or all-loving? We can't have both and be satisfied with a God who permits the Holocaust, genocide, war and tsunamis.
It has been the heaviest and darkest December in both the countries I have had the honor to call my home. And yet I have never seen so many feel the pain of others so deeply, and so honestly. I hope we will not forget what we are feeling today.
I am concerned that some of these efforts have rendered people like me -- nonreligious Americans -- invisible. And sadly, the idea that godlessness inspires or allows for a tragedy of this nature isn't a new phenomenon.
I don't usually comment on the negative comments that others make about what happens in our society. However, I am having a very hard time keeping my fingers from writing about the comments that have been made about God and what happened in Newtown, Conn.
There is room for debate about which weapons lend themselves to fostering self defense of life, liberty and property. But to be truly mindful of the Second Commandment -- and the Second Amendment -- we must stop idolizing and glorifying any weapons as cultural ornaments and markers of identity.
Newtown and Jesus' Bethlehem are bound together by a common horror: slaughter of the innocents. The world into which the Christian Messiah enters is shattered by terror.
Perhaps this last round of tragic violence will cause us such grief and national disequilibrium that we decide the cost of our own children is just too great a price to pay to continue as we are.
Will the God who let this happen now provide us with the strength to accept it so that we can go on worshiping Him? Will we be punished further if we forsake our faith and conclude that we are blameless victims of a random fate?