Though the church fears the atheist danger
There’s more risk from a friend than a stranger
And when pastors compete
With the church down the street
Best beware of the dog in the manger!
Ok, it might be a stretch–Aesop’s “dog in the manger” basically growled “I can’t have it, but neither can you!”; in this terrible tragedy, the motives are not yet settled. The shooter and his wife were former members of the church the two pastors ran; it may not be such a stretch to think there was some envy involved.
I hate church shootings. I hate all shootings, but church shootings are a special case. Growing up, church was presented as a sanctuary; if you came in, you were welcomed and treated with kindness. Today, I read a headline like this and know (of course I don’t know) that the shooter was a member or former member of the congregation, and that tears me apart. And some day, perhaps some self-identified atheist will be the shooter, and that will make everyone forget all the other shootings, and forget that the fights within religion are far more representative of history than the recent atheist surge.