The WHY of the Georgia Murders

There are at least three major theories of why there were murders in Georgia of six Asian American massage therapists, all women, plus two other people.

Racism against Asian Americans, especially worsened by Trump’s constant description of the Covid sickness as “the China virus.”

The murderer’s own theory -- that he was consumed by a “sex addiction” and felt he could purge himself of it or at least control it by killing women.

The prevalence of guns with few controls over them. 

 I suggest a fourth theory: that all of these have considerable truth, and that they are all aspects of an impulse toward Subjugation and Violence in American society. Racism, misogyny, and gunnery are simply three different expressions of the impulse, and they all need treatment by facing and changing this strand of US culture. Another expression is the “conquest” of the Continent, destroying its roots as an ecosystem of ecosystems – and now the impulse to burn, poison, and wreck Earth herself so as to multiply the hyper-wealth of some major corporations and their governmental toadies.

Among some Americans, the fear, anxiety, grief, and anger intensified by the Pandemic and the government's often horrific response to it has made Violence worse, as the murder statistics in several large cities during the past year shows.

 The antidote to this culture and the various attitudes and policies it has woven into our society is a culture of love. If the word “love” embarrasses you, try “compassion” and “empathy,” but they all mean love.They all mean what eleven years ago my then eight-year-old grandchild taught me: that the “Image of God” the Bible says is stamped into humanity (and, it turns out, all other life-forms) is a jigsaw puzzle. In the puzzle, each piece is unique and needs to be unique so as to fit with another piece.  When the completed puzzle is human, we call it a community; when it’s other-than-human (including human) we call it an eco-system. Domination and Subjugation destroy the puzzle.

The goal of all policy and all prayer, and all relationships in this transcendent crisis, must be to dismantle Subjugation and Violence. Even the faith communities are infected with the Subjugation virus (most of them seeing God as “king” and “lord,” many of them subjugating women, almost all of them permitting or even elevating racism, almost all of them celebrating the “conquest” of Earth and delaying action for healing. Yet nevertheless they are the part of our culture most likely to recognize the need for love in society and politics – not only in interpersonal and family life.

 So we recognize racism, sexism, idolatry of guns, and the subjugation  of Earth as the most dangerous forms of subjugation in our society, all but one summed up in the Georgia murders. Looking for the path to grow beyond them, we see the faith communities as potentially the most nourishing of a new loving community: This amalgam of a healing agenda with a healing force defines The Shalom Center‘s work – and the work we call our members and readers to undertake..

 And I think the time has come to turn our mostly one-way flow of thought into a real conversation among those of us who are willing to engage. I want to turn these into more focused action, in three areas: Inclusive Democracy, Eco-Justice, and Transformative Torah.

 We have already moved in this direction in two of the areas.

 For Eco-Justice, we have invited you to join in our Gathering toward a Multireligious Institute for Eco-Justice Activists this Sunday evening. Last Call:  To register, please click to Http://   You will then be sent a Zoom link for the Sunday-evening Gathering. Please plan to arrive on Zoom at 6:45 pm EST (3:45 PST) for music so that we can -- and will!  -- start the program at 7 pm EST SHARP.

 With Transformative Torah, we have had a number of three-session conversations on my new book Dancing in God's Earthquake: The Coming Transformation of Religion. We have also arranged with a dozen congregations a one-evening Book Conversation. To pursue more, please click here:

 For Inclusive Democracy:  It has become clear that urgent change requires either abolishing or radically reforming the Filibuster rules in the US Senate.  The Senate is itself Constitutionally shaped to be undemocratic, and the Filibuster makes it far worse.  There are ways of changing the Filibuster that would preserve the right of Senate minorities to challenge proposed bills they think dangerous, and call them to public attention -- without preventing the passage of laws that srong majoritiees of the people want. The Senate itself is now wrestling with these proposals, and this  is the time for us --  We the People -- to speak out.  The week before Passover and Palm Sunday are good times to begin, as we think our way to deep change.  So we will send you some ideas to start a discussion.