A lament for our land

A lament for our land

By Father Bob Layne, a retired Episcopal priest living in McPherson, Kansas

I began writing these words on the morning of Friday, July 8. My heart was heavy-laden; my spirit was disquieted within me; my soul shed silent tears of sorrow. Two black men had been slain by police officers the past week, one in Baton Rouge, La., and another in Falcon Heights, Minn. Then, just days later, during a peaceful demonstration in Dallas, Texas, calling for justice for those black men, a sniper shot 11 white police officers, five fatally.

The slaughter of the five police officers was done by a gunman who openly boasted that he was angry about so many black men being gunned down by police. He wanted vengeance; he wanted to kill some white police; and he did. America’s crown of “brotherhood from sea to shining sea” was violently smashed – only soon again to be stricken when two sheriff’s deputies were murdered in a Michigan courthouse.

In so many American cities, wanton murder and cries of grief pollute our whole nation. Increasingly, Americans seem so used to murder that such horror has become a national norm. What has happened to the soul of America?

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