13 Feb 24
Church shooting:
Two days ago, on “Superbowl Sunday,” a woman entered the enormous Lakewood Church in Houston, TX.
This is a regularly-televised “megachurch,” presided-over by smiling televangelist, Joel Osteen
The woman was wearing a long trenchcoat (which concealed an M4) and was escorted by her seven-year-old son.
Her suspicious demeanor and trenchcoat immediately attracted the attention of armed church security personnel (mostly off-watch police officers, who are also members of the church)
They didn’t have long to wait!
The woman precipitously discharged her weapon at least once and was immediately engaged, via gunfire, by pistol-armed security personnel.
Unclear as to what direction her weapon was pointed. Her motive is even less clear.
In any event, suspect was DRT
One innocent church parishioner suffered a superficial gunshot injury. He was treated and released.
The suspect’s young son suffered a gunshot injury to his head and is still in critical condition at a local hospital.
The church was crowded (typical for Sunday services), and many more could have been injured were it not for speedy and decisive action on the part of armed security officers who were present, alert, and who moved quickly.
Suspect was a Palestinian sympathizer with a history of mental illness. Her ex-husband’s family was
associated with the church, and I’m sure there is more to the story!
1) Churches, like bars, are magnets for miserable, unstable, desperate, drunken, dangerous people, who show-up for all kinds of reasons!
Of course, I’m not talking about the vast majority of church-goers! I attend a local church, and fellow parishioners, my friends, all very good people.
However, in our modern era, violent Islamists have demonstrated as much love for Christians as they historically have for Jews!
In addition, domestic/family disputes often overflow, violently, during church services.
2) Megachurches are the most controversial, the most flamboyant, and hence the most dangerous. Megachurches need an elaborate, well-trained, well-armed, professional security team, as we see!
Small, local churches (the kind I attend), maybe not so much, but the need is still there.
Synagogues, no matter the size nor profile, need competent, continuous security!
3) Of course, far be it from me to so much as suggest what church you ought to attend, if any!
But, the fact is that staying home on Sunday (or Saturday) is still a lot safer than going to any kind of church/religious service. Many of us go anyway, of course, but when we do we must exercise the same high level of alertness/preparedness that we would if we were going to a rock concert, or a tavern.
Churches themselves, no matter the size, need to implement reasonable security measures.
Of course, life is not just about “staying safe!” Risk attaches to every human activity.
Yet, let us not be foolishly naive about real (and increasing) personal risks that attach to all political, as well as religious, activities in 2024.
Christians and Jews have few friends (and getting fewer), in government and in the world at large!
“When the highest aim of a captain is to keep his ship and crew safe, he would never leave port.
But of course, that’s not what ships are for”
Thomas Aquinas