Monday, December 17, 2012

The Brokenness Revealed in Connecticut

The blog world is full of many posts calling for reform of the US gun laws, in the wake of the massacre last week in Newtown, Connecticut. British bloggers at the Telegraph are saying it is time for gun control in the United States, and praise is being bestowed on President Obama (peace be upon him, to borrow the phrase from Michael Coren) for stating that something must be done about the violence in America while giving his condolences to the bereaved.

Remember Rahm Emmanuel's comment about "never let a crisis go to waste"? I couldn't help but recall that statement when I heard Obama calling for a change in the society, and it is perfectly obvious what change he means. The one that calls into question the right of US citizens to "bear arms", a right written into the Constitution.

It all sounds reasonable enough, and I personally do not see why anyone needs to have firearms in their house, of this kind. A rifle, yes, if you live in the country and/or you are a hunter. But handguns, I have never seen the reason for them. So my initial reaction to these blog posts is to agree with them.

But then I realise with alarm, that the President is also trying to change the American Constitution when it comes to the right of free speech, and he is coercing Catholics to go against their consciences and pay for abortifacient drugs and birth control in their insurance plans.

So he will try to use this recent tragedy to push the Democratic agenda of gun control upon a society that has written in its constitution the "right to bear arms". And it will seem reasonable to the majority of citizens and onlookers from other countries; in fact, it will seem morally correct. And Obama will act as other totalitarian leaders have done, changing the laws of a country; he is just a whole lot more subtle about it than, say, Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez.

But there is a far bigger issue here than the possession of guns. At issue is the fact that American society, and many other societies as well, are broken. The violence that erupted at the hands of one 20-year-old on Friday in Connecticut is indicative of the violence that is lurking beneath the entire society. The slaughter of 27 innocent people points to the fact that there is an evil that has permeated the fabric of our modern society. The act of violence is simply like the eruption of a volcano; it indicates that there is a whole more to come.

Where did the evil come from in the first place? You can’t blame it on a broken family. There are many kids from broken families who do not go on a killing spree. You can’t blame it on video games. Millions of kids play video games and don’t go out with guns to kill kindergarten children. You can’t blame it on guns. Millions have guns who do not kill babies. You can’t blame it on learning disabilities or being shy. There are many shy people with learning disabilities who are not killers. You can’t blame it on the devil unless there is evidence of demonic activity. We will probably never know what caused that boy to snap and go an such a senseless rampage.

However, I know one thing: our society is broken. Our world is broken. Our families are broken. For the last few decades we have indulged in evil. The evil of broken families. The evil of sexual promiscuity, and the subsequent violence of abortion. The evil of greed, and the subsequent violence of stealing from the poor. The evil of war. The evil of drugs. The evil of crime warfare. The evil of organized crime. The evil of a war mongering, world conquering mentality. The evil of forgetting God. The evil of materialism. The evil of complacency. The evil of forgetting that there is such a thing as evil. The evil of living a superficial selfish and pleasure seeking life and thinking that it is simply a nice, cheerful, “successful” American thing to do.

What I’m getting at is this: our Western society is sick–sick through and through with an insidious cancer. Just beneath the smiling surface of America there is a cancer of sin, and the symptom of this sickness is violence. I am just as horrified as the next person at the senseless murders in Connecticut, and I truly hope I am wrong, but I predict more of the same. The sickness is deep down in our culture, and it will continue to poke out it’s monstrous head (like that incubating beast the Alien movie) and ravage the land whenever it gets the chance.

This violence (and the other recent violence) has burst forth from our collective psyche. The boy who pulled the trigger is our son. He is our offspring. Beneath the surface our society is deeply unhealthy, and unless something is done to correct that sickness, the symptoms will continue to surface.

And it ain't gonna to be pretty.
Where was God in Sandy Hook?

1 comment:

Elena said...

As Fr. Shalla said, There is no such thing as a private sin.