Monday was a normal day for me. I was in the kitchen finishing up dinner and my dad had on the CBS Evening News while he played Mahjong on his laptop. Mom was just talking on the phone with a friend and I was finishing up dinner thinking nothing could go wrong.
I was wrong. About 20 minutes or so into the broadcast, Scott Pelley says there is news out of England about an explosion at a concert in Manchester. So much for that normal day, right?
About a half hour later between cleaning up the kitchen and then going down to the basement to put another load of laundry in, the AOL app on my phone starts sending me notifications of a mass casualty situation at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. I make it back upstairs and Mom’s got on the local NBC station and Lester Holt comes on saying about the bombing in Manchester to which I say to my mom, “And at an Ariana Grande concert of all places.”
I was shocked, stunned, and angry at the same time. I mean, what did these people do to deserve this? Why did God allow it to happen? And all this time I was thinking, “The Westboro Baptist Church better not say a damn thing right now!”
I was wrong. I took to Twitter and I found the first tweet about it and wouldn’t you know it was an “open memo to the UK.” God is the terrorist? I must have missed that memo.
I spent half the night on Twitter doing anything I could. I offered prayers to a young woman who responded to another tweet the Westboro Baptists had after she informed them that her friend was among the missing. I have since learned that the friend is among the 22 people killed in the attack. I then offered my condolences.
I spent half the night retweeting whatever I could. I told people that while I live in the United States, I wanted to help in anyway I could. Social media is a powerful tool (might explain why our current POTUS uses it frequently) so I figured the best thing I could do was retweet all the information regarding missing people, where to donate blood, and about how people in the town were helping would suffice. I even retweeted a post from a Twitter user named Nick Monroe. Like myself, Nick is an American and he wanted to do anything to make sure that people got the proper information.
One of his tweets was about how a woman named Paula Robinson gathered a group of kids who were running around bewildered and took them to a nearby Holiday Inn. She posted this information and her phone number on Twitter. I would find out later that she was at the train station near the arena and came across a group of frightened girls and that’s how it started.
I got tons of thank-you responses from people as well as some updates. I simply replied back it’s the best I could do and I was praying for a positive outcome.
I now know that for some, the outcome was full of sadness. And the tweets from the worst Baptist church in America kept coming in. They were talking about how God allowed it because they were banned from the UK and how they told Ariana Grande that this would happen. Did self-made leader Steve Drain and the Phelps family have a crystal ball sitting in their church? No one could predict this. We know that ISIS claimed responsibility but don’t they always make threats? I think they do.
Truth is seeing the tweets made me angry and upset. God sent the attack?! But why? Because you are butthurt that you can’t go to England? Well, neither can I (my case is no passport and not enough money) but I don’t go on Twitter saying this crap!
Maybe I was angry because I remembered to when I was a Catholic and while we didn’t have idiots like these guys who probably have an orgasm every time a soldier gets killed or in this case a bunch of children are dead or injured because of a bombing but there was one group that really would act like God allowed the deaths and that was Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
They would just say “Let’s pray for them” and then it would be radio silence. I mean, if I said that I was really saddened and wondering how a God who is of love and mercy allow something like this to happen, they would simply tell me to go say a Hail Mary. And considering that prayer is mostly used by priests as a part of your penance when you are in the confessional, I would think, “What did I do wrong? I just asked a question.”
Even now, two days later, I am asking why. I am seeing the names of the victims and their ages and asking. The youngest one was eight years old! WHY DID GOD ALLOW AN EIGHT YEAR OLD WHO WANTED TO JUST SEE HER FAVORITE SINGER DIE?!
And it seems I’m not the only one that is grappling with this. Hours after the explosion, Ariana Grande took to Twitter saying that she is so sorry and how broken she is.
Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.–Ariana Grande via Twitter
There is also rumors going about that she is in such hysterics that she is planning on canceling the rest of the Dangerous Woman Tour. As of right now, there is no word if she will or won’t though.
Her next show is scheduled for the O2 Arena in London, however, the venue says they haven’t heard anything as of now. I do know that she did fly home to the United States so who knows.
Like Ariana Grande, I have no words at all. I can’t even begin to fathom how someone can take a bomb into a concert venue and do this. I can’t fathom why anyone thinks the killing of innocent people is pleasing to their God.
I am angry. I am angry that 22 people with a large majority of them being young people are dead. I am angry that it automatically makes people think that all Muslims are to blame when the reality is even Muslims are denouncing the ones that are doing things like this.
And while we are on the subject, let’s stop putting all the Muslims in the same box with these cowardly terrorists. Manchester has a large Muslim population and from the reports I heard from BBC World News, a lot of them sprung into action and helped. Taxi drivers turned off their meters and doctors cried along with the victims and guess what? There were Muslims among the crowd. Moral of the tale: Terrorism has no religion.
This doesn’t take away from the anger I have though. I am asking God why all the time. Why did He allow this to happen? Why did He take 22 people away from us?
Maybe the brainwashing I endured from Catholic Daughters of the Americas contributes to this because of what they would say if I asked such questions and because they seemed to not like anyone who wasn’t a Catholic but I’m sure I’m not the only one asking these questions.
All I can do is pray. Manchester, you’re in my thoughts. To the wounded, I’m hoping you can heal and move forward after this. Let’s hope the missing are found or recovered, and to the 22 people who died, may you rest in awesome.
This is all I can say. This and as always, DFTBA, everyone.