#ItIsEnough was founded on December 14, 2012 and is, to quote their Facebook page, "an informal coalition of Christians who use social media to raise awareness of gun violence and speak out in favor of stronger gun laws." The coalition remembers the tragedy of Sandy Hook and all other instances of gun violence by posting on the 14th of every month.
For my contribution to this month's #ItIsEnough post, I invite you to read an article written by Shane Claiborne entitled What Would Jesus Say to the NRA? Here is a passage,
Many Christians have begun to speak of Jesus as an interruption to the "myth of redemptive violence," the assumption that we can use violence to get rid of violence or that we can destroy a life to save a life. The myth of redemptive violence has many ugly faces. It teaches us that we can kill those who kill to show that killing is wrong. It teaches us to live by the law of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" a law that Jesus firmly spun on its head, saying, "You've heard it said 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth... but I tell you..." There is another way. Killing to show that killing is wrong is like trying to teach holiness by fornication. The cure is as bad as the disease.
From a young age, I was baffled by the death penalty. To me, it was like saying, "You killed someone. Killing people is wrong. So, we're going to kill you." That is what it's saying. I've spoken with Christians who support the death penalty, and I've never been able to wrap my head around their reasoning. A friend of mine always says, "It's in the Bible," meaning, the Old Testament. That's true; redemptive violence is everywhere in the Old Testament. However, as Christians (and I'm trying my best to phrase this very, very carefully), we're meant to follow Christ.
You're probably thinking, "Yeah, obviously." But think about it. Did Jesus ever say or do anything to imply that violence is okay? He wouldn't even lift a hand to save Himself. He wasn't a pushover by any standard, but think about it: We call Him the Prince of Peace. You don't get that name by being violent.*
I don't mean to be harping on about the death penalty. The point is, I believe that opposing violence everywhere and promoting peace is one of the truest ways we can embody the light of Christ. I believe that by doing so, we can begin to fulfill the highest call Jesus entrusted to us: To love.
It amazes me how difficult this concept is to grasp. Please know that I say this all in love, and I hope it won't offend you, but I also know that sometimes, we need to be offended. I don't understand how some Christians can profess the the good news of Jesus and in the same breath hate and condemn people who don't believe the same thing. Whether this be about homosexuality, abortion, guns, or even just a political party, I implore you, I beg of you, to act in love. Love saved us when Jesus died on the cross, and love can save us from more violence and tragedy. You just have to let it.
*That's actually debatable. The title "Prince of Peace" was originally given to Augustus after a long series of wars (and many, many successes on Augustus' part) led to a period of peace for the Roman Empire. So Augustus was given the name "Prince of Peace" because he ended the string of wars that Rome had been having off and on for the past few centuries. He ended the string of wars with more violence, hence the "debatable" part. The name "Prince of Peace" was then given to Jesus later on by early Christians as a way of insulting Augustus and essentially saying, "You're not really the Prince of Peace; He's the Prince of Peace because He's actually peaceful." But I digress.