Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just My Thoughts...

Like everyone else, I'm just trying to make sense of what is senseless.  We want answers and explanations about how this tragedy in Connecticut could happen.  And we are outraged!  And angry, and we want someone to blame.  Because if we could just figure out who exactly is to blame, we could prevent this from happening again.

Job 12:5 says, "In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune."  Those of us living (momentarily) in peace and safety would like to say that calamity cannot come to us because we have our lives in order and we are not like "those people."  Every single day we hear of shootings on the streets of our big city. This thinking insures our continued perfect life. But when tragedy happens to ordinary people, it shakes our world.

In my anger, I've tried to find blame too.  I came up with the conclusion that this latest massacre is a culmination of all that is wrong with our society.  So who or what can we blame?  First thought, of course, is to blame the shooter.  But we can't do that because he has a psychiatric disorder.  People are not responsible for their behavior if they have a diagnosis, and the list just keeps getting longer.

1. The media?  We live in a culture that glorifies violence in movies, on TV, and in video games played incessantly by impressionable teenage boys.  Violent themes abound, because people want this and are willing to pay for it.

2.  Guns?  Why can people go into a store and buy military-style assault weapons?  For deer hunting?  For home defense?  Let's make this political and ban guns and all will be well in the world.

3.  Public education?  It has just about succeeded in eliminating the Christian faith from every aspect of a child's life during the six hours he is sitting in a classroom. 

4.  Public education, again.  Aren't schools supposedly on the lookout for troubled kids who need help?  Why wasn't this young man given the resources and the help he so obviously needed.  But I bet the school had a great sports program.

5.  Broken families?  We heard the guy had an absent father and a mother who spent her time in bars or on the shooting range with her troubled son.  Parents oblivious to the needs of their children.  This one cuts into my heart. 

6.  Our environment?  Why do we have so many damaged kids to begin with?  What is in our air, our water, our food that causes young children to develop autism and ADD and a host of other behavior issues that no one seems to understand?  We're breathing toxins, swallowing toxins, absorbing toxins, and injecting our kids with toxins.  They're drowning in them.  And we're surprised when things go wrong in their brains.

7.  Big corporations?  When researchers try to find causes for all that ails American children, they are silenced and ridiculed if their conclusions affect the bottom dollar.

8.  Relativism?  All points of view are equally valid.  We don't want anyone to take offense.   There are no more moral values. There is no right or wrong.  But wait!  I think we most all agree that killing 6 years olds is wrong!   On that common ground, can't we do SOMETHING to try to prevent tragedies like this?

But no, we cannot.  We live in this world we've created and we suffer the consequences of it.

Some may say, you forgot to blame God.  When we want to absolve ourselves in any role we may have played, we say it was God who allowed it.  And he did.  I have no answers for that, and when Job tried to find the answer to his suffering, God's responded by asking him questions.  We draw conclusions about God because of what has been revealed to us, not accounting for all that is hidden from us.  When Jesus saw the suffering of Lazarus's family, he wept.  He cares; he knows. When Jesus looked out upon the city on the way to his own death, he cried, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!  How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!  See, your house is left to you desolate."  (Matthew 23:37, 38.)

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