Sadness and Seething

I am deeply saddened by the Texas shooting.  I am also seething.

The knee-jerk response of some is “stricter gun laws,” as if that would solve the issue entirely, or as if we had mysteriously repealed the Second Amendment.

Others wave that Second Amendment as though it were absolute, or written in contemplation of AK-47s.  They reply, “You can’t stop a nut job with a law,” as if we should helplessly shrug Texas off. And Las Vegas. And Orlando.  And Sandy Hook. And Columbine.  And …

Others call for more mental health treatment as if our three-generation obsession with mental health has actually improved this issue.  They continue to refer to “senseless” violence, as if these mass murderers gave no forethought whatsoever to their misanthropy.

So, as far as I can see, our response to this insanity is more insanity!

If we’re going to address this, we have to come to some basic realizations:

  1. At its heart, this is a spiritual crisis.  I know we want to label it otherwise, because confronting this reality is both awkward and out of vogue in our society.  But here is the reality – no one who is personally at peace with God has ever gone on a murderous rampage.
  2. We have to stop ignoring the toxic cocktail we are allowing (even forcing?) our children to drink.  We tell them they are the center of their own universe.  We teach them that they are not here by any design or purpose, but rather some cosmic accident of time and space and chance. Uncreated, they are also unaccountable to anyone other than themselves.  So it is really meaningless to ask any questions about life, like “How did I get here?” or “Why am I here?”  They have certain inalienable rights, and among these are the right for no one to judge them in this life or in the next (which is not cherished as the wisdom of millennia, but belittled as the fairy tale of all those religious people who aren’t intelligent enough to know better). They get to determine for themselves what is truth.  They get to determine for themselves what is right and what is wrong.  They get to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but they will not surely die.  Ignore the fact that the pathway of their life is strewn with despair and chaos and death and disintegration – if they just keep going in the same direction, they can reach Nirvana, the bliss of their own nothingness.
  3. We cannot treat “gun violence” in a vacuum.  We are a violent society in a thousand different ways.  We cannot continue to eat this steady diet of violence in our movies, our music, our video games, our recreation, our politics, etc., and then act stunned when someone with a gun gets violent.  In this technological age, we accept the computer programming axiom “garbage in, garbage out.” Are we really so naive as to think this doesn’t also apply to the human soul?  The Scripture articulates this in a slightly different way: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Gal. 6:7-8.  I believe this applies to nations as well as to individuals.  We’re now so accustomed to violence that we are anesthetized to it.  We watch a few minutes of news coverage of the latest shooting, then move on to watch yet another episode of “Law and Order: SVU.”  Can I simply point out God’s expressed reason for the flood in Noah’s day?   “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.'” Gen. 6:11-13
  4. We have to address the meltdown of the most basic building block of our society – the nuclear family.  At the very least, we have to stop subsidizing, even sponsoring, it. But we can do so much more than the very least. And I’m not referring to the culturally redefined family, so hybridized that it is now an annual instead of a perennial.  I mean we have to get serious about what we know in our hearts actually works and what all evidence says actually makes us better – a mom and a dad committed to one another for better or for worse raising children and grandchildren who know they are loved and safe.   The reality is, when we split that atom, we blow things up.

There’s more to say about all of this, and maybe I’ll say some of it in a subsequent post.  Right now, I need to go work in my yard shoulder to shoulder with my son, whose world is simpler than mine.  And better in almost every respect.  He’s seldom sad, and he never seethes.

gkr1996 posted at 2017-11-7 Category: Personal