There’s been a spate of horrific shootings over the last few days, with 15 people murdered in Germany, 11 dead in an Alabama rampage, and last Sunday, Rev. Fred Winters gunned down during his sermon at First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois.
What struck me as odd was that members of the congregation say they thought the shooting was part of a skit.Â From a CBS/AP report: “We thought it was part of a drama skit … when he shot, what you saw was confetti,” parishioner Linda Cunningham, one of about 150 people who attended the early morning service, said of the congregation’s initial reaction. “We just sat there waiting for what comes next not realizing that he had wounded the pastor.”
Now, I can understand being scared shitless and frozen to your pew, hoping to avoid being shot yourself during the initial volley.Â But honestly:
a) how divorced from reality have you become when you think a shooting in church is part of a skit, and/or
b) what are you doing attending a church where a skit involving gunplay in the sanctuary is a plausible option?
Is this just a case of people “retconning” facts to rationalize their inaction at the moment of truth?Â Or did they really think Pastor Winters would play-act a surprise gun murder whilst children and elderly parishioners were in attendance?Â I think the first explanation is more likely.