There’s a scene in Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games in which the lead charachter performs the most subtle, yet revolutionary act. A young tribute named Rue has been killed and Katniss, who recelently allied with her is beside herself in the moment. She can’t cope with what has happened, but in the moment sees the barbarity of the government responsible for this horrific contest and she looks for a way to rebel. And so she sings. She sings over a child. A child the government has knowlingly sacrificed for the media attention and entertainment of a nation depraved of a moral compass. A nation that keeps it’s poorest citizens entrenched in poverty and claims the lives of their children as a sacrifice to remind them of their dependency on a system that only values them as sport. Today, as I watched the news come accross about a shooting at a school in my city, I couldn’t help but think of how our world isn’t that far removed.
Today in Nashville, the music city, we have a legislative body and a governor who would rather sacrifice the lives of innocent children than listen to the songs of the citizens they deem different. Instead of facing the poverty of their most vulnerable citizens, they would rather attack men in women’s clothing who sing songs of resistance and power. Rather than limit the exposure to fire arms that has now spilled blood in our very schools they would rather strangle the voices of those not born in the bodies they should be because they don’t understand their song. These cowards would rather give unlimited access to weapons of murder because they think a Bill of Rights written 250 years ago foresaw the need for it’s own citizens to arm themselves with semi-automatic assault weapons at a rate more than double any other country in the world. They are scared to stand up to the donors and lobbyists whose money lines the walls of their mansions because they would rather feel “safe and secure” in their power and wealth than provide the same safety and security for our students, teachers and school personnel who walk into potential danger every day thanks to their cowardice.
In The Hunger Games a common expression issued forth to the children who sacrifice their lives for the bloodlust and depravity of the government in charge says, “May the odds be ever in your favor”. The irony of this statement really hit home today. The odds aren’t in our favor because those who make them don’t give a damn whether we live or die. They care only for themselves and for pacificying those whose wealth they swim in. The only way we can change the odds is to vote them out of office. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your concerns. But I’m ready for action and I will exhaust myself to the core to work for the safety of those they are willing to sacrifice. I will never stop singing a song of resisistance and power in the face of the powers that be. The world does not belong to them. And as Mary once sang at the promise of salvation, “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1:52-53) This is the gospel. Good news not for the rich and powerful, but for the poor and oppressed. We will continue to sing this same song of resistance until one day the odds are actually in our favor.