Blam­ing Trump for syn­a­gogue mas­sacre is stupid

The Standard Journal - - EDITORIALS & OPINION - CHRIS COL­LETT Chris Col­lett is a life­long res­i­dent of Can­ton.

It’s been said by co­me­di­ans. The term has been used in con­ver­sa­tions among peo­ple from all walks of life. Let me be­gin to­day by us­ing it my­self. “You can’t fix stupid.”

My po­lit­i­cal gauge leans right.

Not as far as many. But it still leans right. Specif­i­cally, as it ap­plies to fi­nances.

My life has been blessed to have friends of all col­ors, reli­gions, na­tion­al­i­ties, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tions, and po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions. The la­bels of a per­son should mean noth­ing. For me, it’s only about how they treat me. It’s that sim­ple. La­bels only com­pli­cate some­thing that has no rea­son to be com­pli­cated.

A week ago, our na­tion was rocked by an­other tragedy. The shoot­ing oc­curred at the Tree of Life Syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh. Eleven in­no­cent peo­ple lost their lives as they were gunned down in this Jewish house of wor­ship. The gun­man yelled, “All Jews must die” be­fore car­ry­ing out the mas­sacre.

Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing this need­less tragedy, many be­gin to politi­cize the in­ci­dent. There were some who blamed the shooter’s ac­tions on Pres­i­dent Trump. Hold that thought.

Even though I lean to the right, I don’t have Trump bumper stick­ers on my car. My prayers are with him and our na­tion just as they were with Pres­i­dent Obama. I do wish our pres­i­dent would learn to use re­straint be­fore post­ing his ev­ery thought to Twit­ter. He doesn’t seem to have a fil­ter.

How­ever, for some­one to think he is re­spon­si­ble for the shoot­ing of these in­no­cent peo­ple is just stupid. And, you can’t fix stupid. When are we go­ing to stop mak­ing ex­cuses for crim­i­nals? It is time we faced the re­al­ity this world has evil peo­ple in it. They are go­ing to do evil things re­gard­less of the pres­i­dent. By say­ing Pres­i­dent Trump is re­spon­si­ble, is some­how jus­ti­fy­ing the ter­ror­is­tic act of this crim­i­nal.

This was a bad man who did a bad thing. No ex­cuses for his be­hav­ior. There is no one else to blame. Blame the one who did it. Any­thing less, is a slap in the face to our Jewish friends who mourn this loss. That is un­ac­cept­able. To politi­cize this hor­ren­dous act by the devil is also dis­re­spect­ing our Jewish friends.

I’m not Jewish. I’m of the Chris­tian faith. I was raised a Bap­tist. Re­gard­less of your re­li­gious choice, I be­lieve in be­ing saved. Use what­ever words make you feel good. I was saved. How did that hap­pen? It was sim­ple. I re­pented of my sins, ask God to save me, and He did. I wasn’t spe­cial. He died for all of us.

Life has also taught me that be­ing a Bap­tist won’t get me to heaven. Only be­ing saved will. Again, use your own ter­mi­nol­ogy. A Chris­tian is a Chris­tian. I’m rel­a­tively sure there won’t be any de­nom­i­na­tions in heaven. So, if any­one thinks only those be­long­ing to their de­nom­i­na­tion will be in heaven, I can only say, wow! See para­graph one.

I was once mar­ried to a lady who had a sis­ter, Sharon, who mar­ried Alan We­in­stein. Alan is Jewish be­cause his par­ents are Jewish. Sound fa­mil­iar? That’s how most of us find our re­li­gion. They have two beau­ti­ful and suc­cess­ful chil­dren, Ben and Abby. The We­in­steins are good folks whom I love.

I was hon­ored to be in­vited and at­tend Ben’s bar mitz­vah. It was in­ter­est­ing to me as I en­joy learn­ing about other peo­ple’s be­liefs. Ev­ery­one was friendly. Most of all, no one tried to con­vert me. They treated me with re­spect.

Catholics have also suf­fered. My friend Teresa Clark told me about the threats of vi­o­lence grow­ing up Catholic in Birm­ing­ham. She said the ter­ror­ism of the time was geared to­ward Jews, Catholics and blacks. Since her dad chose to wor­ship with black Catholics, she was ex­posed to a dou­ble dose.

I’m not stupid enough to try and make com­par­isons as to which groups have suf­fered more. Hate is hate. Peo­ple from many walks of life have been vic­tims. Teresa said that even as an adult, the scars re­main with her to­day. She’s a for­giv­ing woman though she will never for­get.

I have never lived good enough to judge any­one. I’ve made one mis­take af­ter an­other. Thank­fully, we serve a lov­ing and for­giv­ing God.

Some non­profit has ac­cused Sher­iff Reynolds of pro­mot­ing re­li­gion. Maybe my col­umn does the same. Don’t be of­fended. Just don’t read our writ­ings.

Don’t take my word for any of this. Work out your own sal­va­tion. It’s the only way to heaven!

Col­lett

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