Pastoral Statement on the Mass Shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs
Rev. Desmond W. Drummer | 20 November 2022
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
The past seven days have found us reckoning with mass killings on the campuses of the University of Virginia and the University of Idaho. While the circumstances of these senseless killings are further investigated, we remain mindful of the local communities, students, and families who are impacted by loss and trauma.
This morning we collectively grieve with our neighbors in Colorado Springs who are forced to endure the tragedy of yet another mass shooting. So far, at least five people were killed and 18 people were injured in the mass shooting at Club Q, a nightclub that serves the LGBTQ+ community.
As people of faith who affirm the dignity of every human person, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs—here in Metro Atlanta, and everywhere—who are experiencing fear and uncertainty as the details of this mass shooting emerge. While the investigation of this criminal act continues, Christians must assess the degree to which our religious rhetoric continues to dehumanize and traumatize people who identify publicly and quietly as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
If this mass shooting at Club Q is officially found to be an act of anti-LGBTQ+ hatred, that will be easy to condemn. The more difficult task is to reflect honestly about our dispositions, assumptions, and silence that allow disrespect to permeate our churches, families, and societies. The seeds of violence are found in our thoughts and words—and in what we fail to do.
Let us pray for a change in heart on the part of Christians everywhere.
Let us reflect on our responsibility to love unconditionally.
Let us remain mindful of our neighbors in Colorado Springs—victims, survivors, family members, witnesses, first responders, healthcare workers, counselors, public officials, and the entire community.
We must explore ways to overcome the failures of the past and unambivalently affirm the God-given dignity of LGBTQ+ people.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation reveals, we must engage in works of healing, inclusion, and renewal—works of mercy that are long overdue.