Feel Her Power

Alec Baldwin’s firing a prop gun he thought was safe, killing the movie’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, raises many questions. Law enforcement officials have been questioning people on the movie set to discover the kind of ammunition in the gun and how it got there. Along with many others, I’m shocked by this tragic shooting and grieve the loss of life.

And my questions go deeper. Do movies have to include guns? What do we have to do to prevent gun violence? Why has gun violence in the United States become a public health crisis of epidemic proportions? What can movies and other media do to prevent gun violence?

About the same time as the tragic shooting on the movie set, I opened the fall issue of the newsletter of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship to Lindsay Morgenstein’s excellent article, “Not My Generation: Young Activists Bring New Energy to Gun Violence Prevention Work.” Morgenstein is co-communications director and a co-founder of Not My Generation, a national organization focused on intersectional gun violence prevention advocacy for and by young adults. She writes that “Americans are twenty-five times more likely to be killed in a gun homicide than residents of other high-income countries and women in the United States are twenty-one times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in peer countries.” Not My Generation works to end the “American gun violence epidemic in all its forms—including mass shootings, community violence, suicides by firearm, domestic violence, police violence, hate crimes, and accidental shootings.” Not My Generation recognizes that gun violence is “a symptom of wider systemic injustices, particularly as they relate to race, class, and gender.”

Hundreds of research studies conclude that exposure to violent media increases aggression, especially in children and adolescents. The American Association of Pediatrics warns that exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents and that extensive research indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior and desensitization to violence.

I know that violent movies and other media are not the only cause of our gun violence epidemic. They intersect with white supremacy, patriarchy, and other systemic injustices. Toxic masculinity in society as a whole, as well as in the media, teaches boys that guns are cool. For all these reasons and more, gun violence prevention may seem impossible.

We need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need Her power within and among us to bring transformation. She is especially strong as we work together in communities, and young people are leading the way. People of all generations can feel Her power as we work together in organizations like the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, the Baptist Peace Fellowship, March for our Lives, and Not My Generation. We can feel Her power as we work together in faith communities like The Gathering, A Womanist Church, Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, and New Wineskins Community.

Feel the Spirit’s power! Feel Her power in communities!

Feel the Spirit of love and peace unfolding,
in community She is deep and bold.
Feel the Spirit of love and peace unfolding,
in community She is deep and bold.

Feel Her power; feel the Spirit’s power.
Feel Her power; feel the Spirit’s power.

Words © 2019 Jann Aldredge-Clanton   

Video Credits

Performed by: Katie Ketchum

Music: Katie Ketchum

Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton


Hersay: Songs for Healing and Empowerment

Recorded at: Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA

Visual Artists:

Katie Ketchum: paintings of Hersay Cover & Divine Feminine Image

Lucy A. Synk: “Ruach” © Lucy A. Synk. Used with permission.

David Clanton:  2 photos from Dallas Reproduction Liberation Rally and March.

Alice Heimsoth: photo in Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top