Rare is the newspaper front-page headline that lingers in the public’s consciousness a week after publication, spurring ongoing and meaningful debate. But such is the case with “God Isn’t Fixing This,” the plaintive cry shared on Dec. 3 by the New York Daily News in the wake of the San Bernardino mass shooting.
One particularly interesting strand of reaction has been the published ruminations of priests, reverends and other religious followers. Reverend Dr. Jayson S. Galler, in his local newspaper this weekend, reveals that the headline was part of his sermon last Sunday at the Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore, Texas:
I pointed out that the Daily News publishers and others miss that God is not about stopping every individual act of evil in this world but is about ultimately delivering us from the evil of this world itself.
Dan Delzell, a pastor with the Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillon, Neb., takes the more analytical view in his Christian Post column “New York Daily News: God Already Fixed This:”
I don’t read that newspaper often, but I have never known the Daily News to write much about God in the past. If you are only going to use God’s name when you have a complaint against Him, wouldn’t this classify as taking His name in vain? Then again, we don’t even know which “god” those editors had in mind. Are they blaming the God of the universe? Or the “god” of Islam? Or some other “god” amidst the various religions of the world?
The Daily News seems to have forgotten one little piece of the puzzle. It’s called “free will.”
Micah Bales, a founding member of Friends of Jesus based in Washington D.C., articulates an opposing point of view in the Mennonite World Review:
As strange as it may seem, The New York Daily News may have actually gotten this one right, from a Christian perspective. A snowflake or Christmas tree on our coffee cup isn’t going to make our country a more Christian society. Religious words and calculated condolences aren’t going to restore God’s peace to our streets. The religion of Jesus and the prophets is a sincere faith expressed through positive action for change.
And north of the U.S.-Canada border, Reverend George Robertson answers in the pages of a Waterdown, Ontario weekly newspaper, under his own headline – “FAITH MATTERS:”
It [the Daily News headline] was hard hitting. It was angry. It was cynical. It was dismissive.
… Yet to state that prayer isn’t working and more human (political) action is needed because God is irrelevant and impotent in the face of such horror is to miss the point.