Shootings have become normal to the American public. But as Christians, we know better.

Over the past few days, my city, Nashville, has been grieving and suffering after a terroristic murderer attacked a Christian school and slaughtered six people—including three children.

Whenever a school shooting happens in America, our country is shocked and pays attention for a time. But within a matter of weeks, most people add these events to other names on a list of horrors—Columbine, Parkland, Sandy Hook, Uvalde, and so on. But as others can attest, it’s different when such a tragedy happens in your backyard.

Some of the boys and girls fleeing for their lives were children of dear friends, and almost everyone I know is connected—closely or loosely—with the victims. We all know the church, the school, our neighbors in the Green Hills neighborhood. Things will not be the same here for a very long time.

And yet Americans—especially Christians—should ask just how much we have adjusted ourselves to this kind of horror. How numb to it all have we become?

While I was still in the haze of this awful news, a friend who is an expert in domestic terrorism texted me to warn about people calling for the release of the murderer’s reported “manifesto.” My friend pointed to research showing that publishing these sorts of documents can fuel more incidents like it—as seen by the way that past mass murderers have cited those who came before. I trust this leader that such best practices are right.

Yet I wonder about all the “manifestoes” we have seen. I’m referring not to the deranged screeds of mass murderers but to the hate and rage that have become so commonplace in our society that we barely even notice them anymore. How long can we live like this and pretend …

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