January 14 – May 31, 2019
This cross (1) is an evolving witness to the lives lost in 2018 due to MASS SHOOTINGS (2) in the U.S.
It is our sign of PROTEST against the love of MONEY and GUNS being valued over human LIVES. (3)
This death-dealing evil must end.
Resurrection of PEACE and JUSTICE must persist. (4)
What this means...
(1) The cross in the First Century was a tool of execution and symbol of the death-dealing politics of the Roman Empire. Early Christians reclaimed this symbol of violence as a sign of resurrection – life’s defiant resilience defeating the powers of death. The movement that took shape beneath this symbol outlived the Empire.
(2) Defined as four or more shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and location, not including the shooter (see shootingtracker.com). Each metal placard is hand stamped with the location and number dead for each mass shooting in 2018. New placards added monthly.
(3) Liberation theologian John Sobrino says, “People do not want to acknowledge or face up to the reality of a crucified world, and even less do we want to ask ourselves what is our share of responsibility for such a world” (The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1995, p. 5). In the same way we witness and work as a congregation in the face of other crucifixions – whether systemic racial injustice or the degradation of the environment – the Mass Shootings Cross will live for a time as an evolving witness to those in our country being crucified by our empire’s love of money, guns, and power over the lives of human beings – even our nation’s children.
(4) The cross asks all passersby to consider our own responsibly for such a world. This cross will be a constant reminder to people from all over the country who visit Harvard Square that the horrors and loss of life from mass shootings outlive our short attention spans, subverting the tendency for the horror of a shooting to live in our consciousness only as long as it remains in the news cycle, prompting us to continually consider how we will work to end this violent evil.