That's the title heading an Internet page for the
Attacks on houses of worship are rare, statistically speaking. But because churches and mosques, synagogues, ashrams and temples are sacred spaces, when such attacks happen they shock the conscience of all of us.
The violence reverberates, ripples spreading outward. If the Tree of Life Synagogue in
The violence reverberates, and deep in the bowels of the Internet each attack seems to feed the flames that will lead to the next.
Last week I spoke to political scientists about the partisan divide that seems to be deepening into a gulf. One of the drivers they mentioned was the instant-gratification, id-driven and ideologically walled-off world of social media.
With a few clicks or keystrokes we can argue with complete strangers about world events or politics, hurling invective that would make sailors blush, countering argument with insult with tired meme.
Social media arguments are remarkably resistant to fact-checking, despite the ease of posting a link.
Instead of reading for comprehension, too many people are bent on reading for confirmation.
We learn nothing if we can't read or listen past our own biases.
My political scientists weren't too optimistic about the immediate future. There's a lot of rancor, and not too many people willing to work through their differences. Compromise seems to be a lost art. Forget civility; that ship is sunk.
We seem to be in a protracted national snit, stomping our feet and not just refusing to listen to our opponents, but demonizing them. And while we point at each other, the same people, the richest people, the plutocrats and kleptocrats, wheel and deal, and laugh at us.
All of this discourse, all of this calculated division, whether sown by Russian bot farms or American trolls, is a distraction.
If we're at each other's throats, we'll accomplish nothing in the battle against opioid addiction. We'll never get a handle on gun violence in our cities and towns, or poverty, or access to health care and insurance, or the rise in suicides.
Public mass shootings may be statistically rare, but they carry an outsized effect on the populace. They are an instrument of domestic terror, whether or not the statutes carry the name of terrorism. And we need to get our heads together if we want to stand tall against the groups who would use this lone-wolf strategy to destabilize us.
Nightclubs and concerts, military bases and government offices, schools and houses of worship.
Where do we draw the line?
When do we come together?
When, at last, is it too much?
On Twitter @HeatherYakin845
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