Friday, April 25, 2008

Remembering Larry: National Day of Silence

Today is the national day of silence to combat bullying of LGBT youth in American schools. This year’s event centers on remembrance of Lawrence King, a fifteen-year old gay youth murdered in February by a classmate in their Oxnard, CA, middle school (

In recognition of this day of silence, and in memory of Lawrence King, I would like to offer the following quotation from Mary Doria Russell’s book A Thread of Grace (NY: Ballantine, 2005):

The Holy One has made us His partners, the sages teach. He gives us wheat, we make bread. He gives us grapes, we make wine. He gives us the world. We make of it what we will—all of us together. When the preponderance of human beings choose to act with justice and generosity and kindness, then learning and love and decency prevail. When the preponderance of human beings choose power, greed, and indifference to suffering, the world is filled with war, poverty, and cruelty. Bombs do not drop from God’s hand. Triggers are not pulled by God’s finger. Each of us chooses, one by one, and God’s eye does not turn from those who suffer or those who inflict the suffering. Our choices are weighed. And, thus, the nations are judged (pp. 158-9).

“God’s eye does not turn from those who suffer or those who inflict the suffering”: this is an affirmation of Judaeo-Christian faith that I find almost impossible to believe. The world in which we live is so full of suffering, so much of it unmerited suffering inflicted on one human being by another human being, that it becomes a daring act of faith to believe that God sees, God hears, and God cares.

And yet we must believe this, if the world is to make any sense at all. And believing, we commit ourselves to making a difference, no matter how difficult the struggle against silence, ignorance, malice, the human propensity to dehumanize those who are Other.

Larry King, requiescat in pace. Your life has made and continues to make an incalculable difference.

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