A friend's prompt: "what is it about a national tragedy that brings out the worst in some?  It strikes me enough in this moment to say, "yeah, that's it exactly, that's why".  Because it's tragic and it's scary and hurting and bad and, maybe most of all, it's not something that we can pretend away or control or be controlled by people we trust.

Certainty is safety for a lot of folks, and to be rudely forced into this situation where they have so much uncertainty, I can have some amount of compassion for how hungry people are to have some explanation that would put this all back in the realm of the controllable. To have someone to blame, to have a belief that it's caused and not random, to be able to retain their grasp on a world that makes any sense at all... I can see how folks could do an awful lot of perspective-warping in order to make the world appear more safe, or at least more explainable or comprehensible. I'll even say, especially for folks whose worldviews are built on "faith" defined as this bedrock assumption that everything is precisely designed and everything *should* make sense and that if we're not "in control" then at least our God or our side/party/ingroup is, or at least there's good & evil and it's a battle because that is more comforting than facing the existential terror of the possibility that no one at all is in control, or even could be, of/over the complexities of this world.

Some Christians might have been with me right up until the last sentence there. Do you see the possibility of faith on the other side of an evangelical God who orders all things for the individual good of individuals that love him?  I think the evidence of this world calls us, and the conspiracy theorists, to the same confrontation with the truth.  True perceiving of reality, that is - not that your judgements and stories are true, but of perceiving accurately and truly, of seeing what is really truly there, even if it doesn't conform to what you already believe.

Mmm, and that reminds me of what's come to be known as the Litany of Gendlin:

What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn't make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn't make it go away.
And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
Anything untrue isn't there to be lived.
People can stand what is true,
for they are already enduring it.

May you face the truth, as it confronts you in your own life, in your own ways.  May you endure and thrive more wholly because you didn't defend to your death the comforting platitudes that serve to protect our feelings from cold uncaring realities.