(Dale) Langs' Pain `Will Always Be There'

By Blair, Kathy | Anglican Journal, October 1999 | Go to article overview

(Dale) Langs' Pain `Will Always Be There'


Blair, Kathy, Anglican Journal


Rev. Dale Lang may be the best-known Anglican priest in Canada. While he says he would not have chosen the notoriety -- even aside from the fact that it took the shooting death of his 17-year-old son Jason to achieve it -- Mr. Lang is making the best of it.

"God is making our son's death count for something," Mr. Lang said in an interview at the Crossroads Centre studios in Burlington, Ont., where 100 Huntley Street is shot. Mr. Lang appeared on the Christian show for a week at the beginning of September.

Anglican priests tend not to make the news in the secular press very often. But the media descended on Taber, Alta., after a young man walked into his high school and shot two students, killing Jason and injuring another boy.

Many Canadians expressed amazement at the way Mr. Lang and his wife Diane reacted to their son's killing. Rather than demand the hide of the youth who killed their child, the couple led a memorial service at the school. Mr. Lang led mourners to the very spot his son was shot and "exorcised" the evil from it.

While Mr. Lang was busy in Burlington at the beginning of the school year, Mrs. Lang was at the Taber school on the first day of school, greeting students. She has also met with the mother of the boy who killed her son. Mrs. Lang hugged and prayed for the woman.

Mr. Lang has accepted speaking engagements across the country and has spoken both to church groups and at secular functions.

"It helps us a little in the grieving process," he said.

For a change, the media has not edited out the Christian message from what he has had to say, Mr. Lang said.

"The notoriety doesn't mean anything to me" he said. "I think I'm the same person I was before it happened. I'm doing the same thing. It's just different audiences, different places ... A lot of the message I'm giving to the general public is the fact that we have lost the sense of who we are in God. We don't respect each other ... We live in a time when you have denigrated what it means to be a human."

The dignity of being human is lost in such things as pornography, abortion and violence in movies and videos, he said.

People have asked him how he has responded so gracefully to the tragedy.

"I give the glory to the Lord," he said. "I'm just an average person.

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