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Christianity Condemns Cowardice



Before he died, Moses commended the Israelites to be courageous in the name of the Lord. Deuteronomy 31:6 “‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’”


After the shooting in Uvalde, the general public rose up in anger at law enforcement for failing to enter a classroom and take out the shooter. A recent surveillance video that was released recorded the police officers seemingly retreating from the shooter, standing around unsure of how to proceed, and ultimately waiting at the end of a hallway instead of going in to take down the active shooter. [1]


Many have condemned them as cowardly, especially in light of the heroic actions of one mom who became famous after she ran into the school to get her two sons and their classmates.


As a farmworker on probation, Angeli Gómez is hardly the ideal model of a hero, however, she displayed the strength and courage commended by Moses and put the police officers of Uvalde to shame.


Not only did she rush into the school, she did so after escaping officers who had handcuffed her to prevent her from entering the building.


“Gómez alleged that the US marshals handcuffed her to stop her from rushing toward the school…Gómez said that she was able to convince local police to uncuff her, and as soon as she was free, she jumped over a fence and rushed into the building to grab her two sons, who are in the second and third grade, from inside. According to her account, police chased her while she ran toward the building.”[2]


Video footage shows the police holding back parents who are pleading with them to enter the school and attempt to save their children. Between expletives and screams, parents beg for their children’s lives while police officers repeatedly tell them to stand down. [3]


While one should not be too quick to judge the actions of every police officer that showed up at Uvalde, the fact of the matter is, those in command displayed inexcusable incompetence. At best, they were apathetic but, altogether, their actions smack of cowardice.


We are commanded in scripture to obey civil authorities, which certainly includes the police, but that should never excuse a situation where the police are clearly derelict in taking on their God-given authority and responsibility.


The fact that an untrained, unarmed, and unarmored woman was more willing to save the lives of innocent children than trained, armed, and armored men speaks volumes about the disgracefulness of law enforcement’s inaction in this situation.


It is for this reason that the courage of people like Gómez shines as such an example of parental love and heroism.


Christians are not called to be cowards. We are called to be willing to lay our lives on the line for those that we love. Self-sacrifice is the core of our religion. It is the self-sacrifice of God Himself that made possible our salvation and that led Jesus Christ to say, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”(John 15:13)


We ought to heed the cautionary tale of Uvalde as an example of the devastating consequences of cowardice and resolve within ourselves to do better.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

 

[1] https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/16/us/uvalde-shooting-video-what-we-learned/index.html


[2] https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/uvalde-shooting-police-response-questions


[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOLUbVNpv-A

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