In the wake of two mass shootings this month, the frontman for the Grammy Award-winning rock band Switchfoot spoke out against the violent acts and racist motives.
“I denounce white nationalism," said Jon Foreman in an article for Relevant magazine. "I denounce the actions of the gunmen who have lived out their belief that violence was the best way forward."
Thirty-one people were killed in the two unrelated shootings this month — one in El Paso, Texas, and another in Dayton, Ohio. The suspect in the Dayton shooting, Connor Betts, was shot by police and killed while the El Paso gunman, Patrick Crusius, 21, was arrested and charged with capital murder. Crusius, whose online manifesto expressed disdain for Hispanic immigrants, may also face hate crime charges.
Still "grieving" from the violence, Foreman said he stands in solidarity with those who lost loved ones, and those who are oppressed and scared.
The songwriter then argued that “rage” was the culprit behind the evil that took the lives of the innocent.
“We cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized to these atrocities. These violent actions are not isolated incidents. These murders are symptoms of a deeper evil, symptoms of a deep hopelessness,” Foreman maintained.
The “Meant to Live” singer said the enemy’s goal is to pit people against each other — “We VS they, Black VS white” — to create a binary existence which would make unity impossible.
“Rather than shine a spotlight on the violence and bullets that silenced so many, let us celebrate the heroes who boldly walk out into no man’s land to keep the conversation going,” Foreman continued.
He spoke of stories of Christians helping Muslims and blacks forgiving whites after being treated cruelly.
“Yes, there is another way. A path beyond the hatred. Beyond the fear. Beyond the pain. Even beyond the reach logic,” he said. “This is the way of love. This is the hand reaching out to the ones she disagrees with. Reaching out across this great divide, this is the path that dares to step out into no man’s land.”
The Switchfoot frontman said living in such a way is not the popular thing but it’s what needed to change the course of such a divided nation and even stop the evils that contribute to tearing people apart.
“The gun can silence the conversation, but love alone can end these cycles of violence. The only way forward is together,” he concluded.
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Foreman talked about people focusing on each other's commonalities rather than their differences.
“Being in a band with my brother, I know a thing or two about fighting. I'm continually reminded that the reason why we fight is because we care, because we are passionate,” he admitted. “I feel like a parallel could be made with the political scene that we have in our nation. I'm reminded that when someone has a distinctly different view than I do of politics, that heartbeat of what we're hoping to accomplish is hopefully a nation where we can see the Constitution lived out.”
“We have a common drive for goodness, for greatness, and to see the ideals in which our country was founded lived out. I'm reminded that underneath all of that, even as a believer, I see the idea that there's something inherently beautiful about this person that I vehemently disagree with. There's a compassion and grace that starts the conversation.”
Instead of starting with “anger or starting with fear,” Foreman told CP that people need to find their identity with love.