‘The tentacles of baseless hate continue to entwine’

Tom Lynn AP A child is held Aug.7, 2012 in Oak Creek, Wis., at a candlelight vigil for the victims … Continued

Tom Lynn

AP

A child is held Aug.7, 2012 in Oak Creek, Wis., at a candlelight vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday. The vigil was held during the national night out event at the Oak Creek Civic Center.

A shooting Sunday at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin leaves seven people dead including the gunman. As investigators try to determine shooter Wade Michael Page’s motive, Sikhs and supporters grieve. Police say the shooter killed four people inside the temple near Milwaukee and two more outside, before exchanging gunfire with an officer. Authorities said the military veteran, who lived nearby, was identified as someone who harbored extreme racial views.

Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles penned the following poem about the tragedy.


View Photo Gallery: First off, Sikhs are not Muslims. This monotheistic religion, founded in 15th-centory Punjab (now North India and Pakistan), preaches equality of all mankind and peace. The faith, the world’s fifth-largest organized religion, does not have clergy. Spiritual guides are known as gurus. There are more than 25 million Sikhs worldwide, including roughly 700,000 in the United States, according to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Writes Wolpe:

Why do you suppose a man
Would kill some Sikhs at prayer?
Could he have suspected that
Just Muslims worshiped there?

Imagine how he’d be distressed
To know his aim was true
Yet nonetheless failed to hit
One Muslim, black or Jew.

The tentacles of baseless hate
Continue to entwine
And will not cease until their prey
Are not “them” or “theirs” but “mine.”


View Photo Gallery: After a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin leaves six dead, a community mourns and the nation learns more about the gunman’s ties to the white supremacy movement.

Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, David Wolpe is the author of seven books including “Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times” and his latest, “Why Faith Matters.” Follow him on Facebook.

About

Comments are closed.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.