In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut resulting in approximately 173 deaths, the World Council of Churches, wrote a statement of solidarity. With no intention of diminishing the barbarism of such attacks, I have taken the statement and changed the language to reflect a statement on the violence that occurs on the roads of the United States resulting in 32,000 deaths a year (or an average of 83 deaths each day for 365 days) and innumerable injuries. The # of deaths from terrorist attacks worldwide for 2014 is approximately 32,500.
While the annual death count on the roads is down from the 45,000 of just a few years ago (a number equivalent to all US military deaths in Viet Nam), the number remains unacceptable in a civilized society.
My point has to do with proportionality, priorities and unreasonable fear exploited by an audience hungry media, attention grabbing politicians and fundamentalist Christians of a premillennial persuasion hell bent on ushering in through US military intervention what they literally believe to be Armageddon, the second coming of Jesus, the thousand years of peace, the loosing of the beast for a season and the culmination history.
Take note of this comment: Wikipedia notes that there were 32,367 automobile accidents in 2011, which means that you are 1,904 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack. As CNN reporter Fareed Zakaria wrote last year: “Since 9/11, foreign-inspired terrorism has claimed about two dozen lives in the United States. (Meanwhile, more than 100,000 have been killed in gun homicides and more than 400,000 in motor-vehicle accidents.).” And that quote is from as far back as 2012, so multiply the total gun deaths and motor-vehicle deaths as of 2015.
Oh, and by the way, 1000 US citizens were killed by US police in 2015 – over 3 Per Day — two dozen citizens killed by foreign inspired terrorism since 9/11 as of 2013 (no stats for 2013-14) and 1000 police killings in just one year, this year, and it’s not over, but back to our roads:
“In the face of the brutality on the roads of the United States, the human family, all people of faith and of good will, must stand together to recommit to respecting and caring for one another, to protecting one another, and to preventing such violence. We cannot and do not accept that such atrocities on the roads of the United States can ever be justified in the name of hostility, rudeness, arrogance, entitlement, selfishness and mindless adolescent driving behavior. Violence in the name of these things is violence against courtesy and common sense. We condemn, reject and denounce it. Let us confront it by holding firm to and upholding the democratic and human rights values that this road terrorism seeks to attack. Let us not allow these events to diminish our care and hospitality to those fleeing the violence and oppression committed on the roads of the U.S. daily. Let us continue to strive to do what we know is required of us: to act justly, to love mercy, and to drive humbly on the way to justice and peace.”