REFUSE AND CHOOSE
Isaiah 7:15-16 twice includes the phrase, “refuse the evil and choose the good.” I find these words fitting for gun violence prevention (GVP) action.
The verbs “refuse” and “choose” are powered by personal decision. As Helmut Thielecke expressed in his exegesis of the Genesis account of the Fall, evil happened by human choice. Similarly, obedience happens because of human choice. In contemporary life, gun violence happens because of human choice.
What evil must be refused? What good must be chosen? Evil is believing that any gun law would restrict my individual right to own a gun. Evil is placing my “right” above what could prevent another gun tragedy. Evil is placing my individual freedom as superior to collective responsibility.
The “good that can be chosen” are the gun laws that can protect human life. Good is placing my right to own a gun within consideration of others safety. Good is acknowledging my freedom as bound to the well-being of the community. “Right and freedom” must exist within the sea of the common good.
The good news is that people created in the Image of God can “refuse the evil and choose the good.” Imperfectly for sure. But to move the ball forward, most certainly. How? By living out our Baptism. We are called and chosen. When God calls and chooses, we are forgiven, guided and provided. Out of God’s grace we can “press on!” “Rights” and “freedoms” are not our gods. It is Christ!