So I just declined an invitation for a moment of silence for Caylee Anthony. Why decline to pray for this girl?
Well, for one, because she is dead and our prayers don’t do much for dead folks.
But moreover, because I find it a bit ridiculous that we would take a moment, hours, even days, consumed with someone we don’t even know from politicized, media-hyped circuses, when we don’t take a moment to really engage our neighbors and the hurting in our own community. Have a silent moment for Caylee if you’d like, but let us focus on engaging our communities & the hurting around us.
Finally, and connected to the previous point, it seems as if this concern for Caylee is really an expression of outrage at Casey Anthony. At one level, I get this: her behavior and being able to walk free is outrageous. But, at another level, it is disturbing how much we love to be outraged at this situation we see from a distance, and yet to be so at home with our own hypocrisy. (That really was the problem with the Pharisees.) Greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Next greatest: Love you neighbor as yourself. If we took those seriously, we would have 1) the humility to grieve the sins of others with less outrage and more loving pursuit, even to the point that we would loving but personally confront those who are in sin (in light of our own failures) and 2) the drive to actually live for more than ourselves and our TV drama (in light of the life-giving calling of loving God and our neighbors).