Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | August 5, 2019


This is not the blog I originally wrote for this week. That one has been shelved for some future posting. The events of this past week required a change for me.

In the space of less than 24 hours, two deadly mass shootings took place in the United States, at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, and on a street in Dayton, Ohio. These come closely on the recent mass shooting at a festival in Gilroy, California. At the time of this writing, at least two of the shooters have been identified as young white men who posted racist content on social media before the shootings.

Does it really need to be said that this is unacceptable? That murder is unconscionable? That racism and white nationalism often lead to violent action against people of color?

Do we have to be reminded that Jesus, who eschewed violence, also said things like:

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

[from Luke 12]

He’s talking about values, of course. We all have values we treasure – whether as individuals, families, like-minded associations, communities, even nations.

Where is our “treasure” as a country? What do we value more?

Do we value more our ability to buy weapons that are intended solely for killing human beings – or do we value more the life and well-being of a child who is shopping for back-to-school supplies and becomes the victim of gun violence?

Do we value more the President’s tweets and rhetoric against black- and brown-skinned people (some comment that he doesn’t really mean what he says, or that people take his comments out of context and twist them to their own purposes) – or do we value the lives of real human beings lying injured or dead in a store or at a festival or on the street because of the color of their skin?

Where is our treasure? What are our values? Where are we investing our money, other resources, time, energy?

Jesus always makes it clear that humanity is where we should be investing. As a matter of fact, loving God and loving all humanity are the only two things that really matter.

We must realize as a nation that violence and racism are not partisan issues, but are issues we have to confront head-on in order to stem the fear, bloodshed, and hatred. Turning a blind eye, making excuses, or lack of caring – all these actions (or inaction) coolly demonstrate where our hearts are, where our treasure is, what our values are.

We can change this. We. Must. Change. This.

Investing in humanity – all humanity – is the only value, the only treasure we have as a nation. Let’s not squander that investment.

© Melissa Bane Sevier


  1. […] be. You might have placed your heart just where Jesus described here in the twelfth chapter of Luke. As Melissa Bane Sevier writes, “Jesus always makes it clear that humanity is where we should be investing. As a matter of fact, […]

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